Genetic structure can be altered by chemical mutagenesis, which is a common method applied in molecular biology and genetics. Second-generation sequencing provides a platform to reveal base alterations occurring in the whole genome due to mutagenesis. A model legume, Lotus japonicus ecotype Miyakojima, was chemically mutated with alkylating ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) for the scanning of DNA lesions throughout the genome. Using second-generation sequencing, two individually mutated third-generation progeny (M3, named AM and AS) were sequenced and analyzed to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms and reveal the effects of EMS on nucleotide sequences in these mutant genomes. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms were found in every 208 kb (AS) and 202 kb (AM) with a bias mutation of G/C-to-A/T changes at low percentage. Most mutations were intergenic. The mutation spectrum of the genomes was comparable in their individual chromosomes; however, each mutated genome has unique alterations, which are useful to identify causal mutations for their phenotypic changes. The data obtained demonstrate that whole genomic sequencing is applicable as a high-throughput tool to investigate genomic changes due to mutagenesis. The identification of these single-point mutations will facilitate the identification of phenotypically causative mutations in EMS-mutated germplasm.
Comparative genomic studies have reported widespread variation in levels of gene expression within and between species. Using these data to infer organism-level trait divergence has proven to be a key challenge in the field. We have used a wild Malaysian population of S. cerevisiae as a test bed in the search to predict and validate trait differences based on observations of regulatory variation. Malaysian yeast, when cultured in standard medium, activated regulatory programs that protect cells from the toxic effects of high iron. Malaysian yeast also showed a hyperactive regulatory response during culture in the presence of excess iron and had a unique growth defect in conditions of high iron. Molecular validation experiments pinpointed the iron metabolism factors AFT1, CCC1, and YAP5 as contributors to these molecular and cellular phenotypes; in genome-scale sequence analyses, a suite of iron toxicity response genes showed evidence for rapid protein evolution in Malaysian yeast. Our findings support a model in which iron metabolism has diverged in Malaysian yeast as a consequence of a change in selective pressure, with Malaysian alleles shifting the dynamic range of iron response to low-iron concentrations and weakening resistance to extreme iron toxicity. By dissecting the iron scarcity specialist behavior of Malaysian yeast, our work highlights the power of expression divergence as a signpost for biologically and evolutionarily relevant variation at the organismal level. Interpreting the phenotypic relevance of gene expression variation is one of the primary challenges of modern genomics.
Weedy rice is a conspecific form of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) that infests rice fields and results in severe crop losses. Weed strains in different world regions appear to have originated multiple times from different domesticated and/or wild rice progenitors. In the case of Malaysian weedy rice, a multiple-origin model has been proposed based on neutral markers and analyses of domestication genes for hull color and seed shattering. Here, we examined variation in pericarp (bran) color and its molecular basis to address how this trait evolved in Malaysian weeds and its possible role in weed adaptation. Functional alleles of the Rc gene confer proanthocyanidin pigmentation of the pericarp, a trait found in most wild and weedy Oryzas and associated with seed dormancy; nonfunctional rc alleles were strongly favored during rice domestication, and most cultivated varieties have nonpigmented pericarps. Phenotypic characterizations of 52 Malaysian weeds revealed that most strains are characterized by the pigmented pericarp; however, some weeds have white pericarps, suggesting close relationships to cultivated rice. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the Rc haplotypes present in Malaysian weeds likely have at least three distinct origins: wild O. rufipogon, white-pericarp cultivated rice, and red-pericarp cultivated rice. These diverse origins contribute to high Rc nucleotide diversity in the Malaysian weeds. Comparison of Rc allelic distributions with other rice domestication genes suggests that functional Rc alleles may confer particular fitness benefits in weedy rice populations, for example, by conferring seed dormancy. This may promote functional Rc introgression from local wild Oryza populations.
Pyrethroid resistance in malaria vector, An. funestus is increasingly reported across Africa, threatening the sustainability of pyrethroid-based control interventions, including long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). Managing this problem requires understanding of the molecular basis of the resistance from different regions of the continent, to establish whether it is being driven by a single or independent selective events. Here, using a genome-wide transcription profiling of pyrethroid resistant populations from southern (Malawi), East (Uganda), and West Africa (Benin), we investigated the molecular basis of resistance, revealing strong differences between the different African regions. The duplicated cytochrome P450 genes (CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b) which were highly overexpressed in southern Africa are not the most upregulated in other regions, where other genes are more overexpressed, including GSTe2 in West (Benin) and CYP9K1 in East (Uganda). The lack of directional selection on both CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b in Uganda in contrast to southern Africa further supports the limited role of these genes outside southern Africa. However, other genes such as the P450 CYP9J11 are commonly overexpressed in all countries across Africa. Here, CYP9J11 is functionally characterized and shown to confer resistance to pyrethroids and moderate cross-resistance to carbamates (bendiocarb). The consistent overexpression of GSTe2 in Benin is coupled with a role of allelic variation at this gene as GAL4-UAS transgenic expression in Drosophila flies showed that the resistant 119F allele is highly efficient in conferring both DDT and permethrin resistance than the L119. The heterogeneity in the molecular basis of resistance and cross-resistance to insecticides in An. funestus populations throughout sub-Saharan African should be taken into account in designing resistance management strategies.
Copepoda is one of the most ecologically important animal groups on Earth, yet very few genetic resources are available for this Subclass. Here, we present the first whole genome sequence (WGS, acc. UYDY01) and the first mRNA transcriptome assembly (TSA, Acc. GHAJ01) for the tropical cyclopoid copepod species Apocyclops royi Until now, only the 18S small subunit of ribosomal RNA gene and the COI gene has been available from A. royi, and WGS resources was only available from one other cyclopoid copepod species. Overall, the provided resources are the 8th copepod species to have WGS resources available and the 19th copepod species with TSA information available. We analyze the length and GC content of the provided WGS scaffolds as well as the coverage and gene content of both the WGS and the TSA assembly. Finally, we place the resources within the copepod order Cyclopoida as a member of the Apocyclops genus. We estimate the total genome size of A. royi to 450 Mb, with 181 Mb assembled nonrepetitive sequence, 76 Mb assembled repeats and 193 Mb unassembled sequence. The TSA assembly consists of 29,737 genes and an additional 45,756 isoforms. In the WGS and TSA assemblies, >80% and >95% of core genes can be found, though many in fragmented versions. The provided resources will allow researchers to conduct physiological experiments on A. royi, and also increase the possibilities for copepod gene set analysis, as it adds substantially to the copepod datasets available.
Weedy crop relatives are among the world's most problematic agricultural weeds, and their ability to rapidly evolve can be enhanced by gene flow from both domesticated crop varieties and wild crop progenitor species. In this study, we examined the role of modern commercial crop cultivars, traditional landraces, and wild relatives in the recent emergence and proliferation of weedy rice in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. This region of Malaysia is separated from the Asian continent by the South China Sea, and weedy rice has become a major problem there more recently than on the Malaysian peninsular mainland. Using 24 polymorphic SSR loci and genotype data from the awn-length domestication gene An-1, we assessed the genetic diversity, population structure and potential origins of East Malaysian weeds; 564 weedy, cultivated and wild rice accessions were analyzed from samples collected in East Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia and neighboring countries. While there is considerable evidence for contributions of Peninsular Malaysian weed ecotypes to East Malaysian populations, we find that local crop cultivars and/or landraces from neighboring countries are also likely contributors to the weedy rice infestations. These findings highlight the implications of genetic admixture from different cultivar source populations in the spread of weedy crop relatives and the urgent need for preventive measurements to maintain sustainable crop yields.