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The Shared Genome Is a Pervasive Constraint on the Evolution of Sex-Biased Gene Expression
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology.
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2013 (English)In: Molecular biology and evolution, ISSN 0737-4038, E-ISSN 1537-1719, Vol. 30, no 9, 2168-2176 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Males and females share most of their genomes, and differences between the sexes can therefore not evolve through sequence divergence in protein coding genes. Sexual dimorphism is instead restricted to occur through sex-specific expression and splicing of gene products. Evolution of sexual dimorphism through these mechanisms should, however, also be constrained when the sexes share the genetic architecture for regulation of gene expression. Despite these obstacles, sexual dimorphism is prevalent in the animal kingdom and commonly evolves rapidly. Here, we ask whether the genetic architecture of gene expression is plastic and easily molded by sex-specific selection, or if sexual dimorphism evolves rapidly despite pervasive genetic constraint. To address this question, we explore the relationship between the intersexual genetic correlation for gene expression (r(MF)), which captures how independently genes are regulated in the sexes, and the evolution of sex-biased gene expression. Using transcriptome data from Drosophila melanogaster, we find that most genes have a high r(MF) and that genes currently exposed to sexually antagonistic selection have a higher average r(MF) than other genes. We further show that genes with a high r(MF) have less pronounced sex-biased gene expression than genes with a low r(MF) within D. melanogaster and that the strength of the r(MF) in D. melanogaster predicts the degree to which the sex bias of a gene's expression has changed between D. melanogaster and six other species in the Drosophila genus. In sum, our results show that a shared genome constrains both short- and long-term evolution of sexual dimorphism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 30, no 9, 2168-2176 p.
Keyword [en]
sexual dimorphism, genetic constraint, sex-biased gene expression
National Category
Microbiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-80748DOI: 10.1093/molbev/mst121ISI: 000323616600015PubMedID: 23813981OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-80748DiVA: diva2:654041
Available from: 2013-10-07 Created: 2013-09-25 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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