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Nucleotide diversity in Silene latifolia autosomal and sex-linked genes

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3283-3290
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
Volume277
Issue number1698
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2010

Abstract

The plant Silene latifolia has separate sexes and sex chromosomes, and is of interest for studying the early stages of sex chromosome evolution, especially the evolution of non-recombining regions on the Y chromosome. Hitch-hiking processes associated with ongoing genetic degeneration of the non-recombining Y chromosome are predicted to reduce Y-linked genes' effective population sizes, and S. latifolia Y-linked genes indeed have lower diversity than X-linked ones. We tested whether this represents a true diversity reduction on the Y, versus the alternative possibility, elevated diversity at X-linked genes, by collecting new data on nucleotide diversity for autosomal genes, which had previously been little studied. We find clear evidence that Y-linked genes have reduced diversity. However, another alternative explanation for a low Y effective size is a high variance in male reproductive success. Autosomal genes should then also have lower diversity than expected, relative to the X, but this is not found in our loci. Taking into account the higher mutation rate of Y-linked genes, their low sequence diversity indicates a strong effect of within-population hitch-hiking on the Y chromosome.

    Research areas

  • Silene latifolia, nucleotide diversity, autosomal genes, sex chromosomes, genetic degeneration

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