Multiscale analysis of the randomization limits of the chromosomal gene organization between Lepidoptera and Diptera

José M. Ranz, Pablo M. González, Ryan N. Su, Sarah J. Bedford, Cei Abreu-Goodger, Therese Markow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

How chromosome gene organization and gene content evolve among distantly related and structurally malleable genomes remains unresolved. This is particularly the case when considering different insect orders. We have compared the highly contiguous genome assemblies of the lepidopteran Danaus plexippus and the dipteran Drosophila melanogaster, which shared a common ancestor around 290 Ma. The gene content of 23 out of30 D. plexippus chromosomes was significantly associated with one or two of the six chromosomal elements of the Drosophila genome, denoting common ancestry. Despite the phylogenetic distance, 9.6% of the 1-to-1orthologues still reside within the same ancestral genome neighbourhood. Furthermore, the comparison D. plexippus–Bombyx mori indicated that the rates of chromosome repatterning are lower in Lepidoptera than in Diptera, although still within the same order of magnitude. Concordantly, 14 developmental gene clusters showed a higher tendency to retain full or partial clustering in D. plexippus, further supporting that the physical association between the SuperHox and NK clusters existed in the ancestral bilaterian. Our results illuminate the scope and limits of the evolution of the gene organization and content of the ancestral chromosomes to the Lepidoptera and Diptera while helping reconstruct portions of the genome in their most recent common ancestor.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1967
Early online date19 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • genome evolution
  • macrosynteny conservation
  • microsynteny conservation
  • developmental gene clusters
  • Lepidoptera
  • Diptera


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