Despite anatomical similarities, there are differences in susceptibility to cardiovascular disease (CVD) between primates; humans are prone to myocardial ischemia, while chimpanzees are prone to myocardial fibrosis. Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) allow for direct inter-species comparisons of the gene regulatory response to CVD-relevant perturbations such as oxygen deprivation, a consequence of ischemia. To gain insight into the evolution of disease susceptibility, we characterized gene expression levels in iPSC-CMs in humans and chimpanzees, before and after hypoxia and re-oxygenation. The transcriptional response to hypoxia is generally conserved across species, yet we were able to identify hundreds of species-specific regulatory responses including in genes previously associated with CVD. The 1,920 genes that respond to hypoxia in both species are enriched for loss-of-function intolerant genes; but are depleted for expression quantitative trait loci and cardiovascular-related genes. Our results indicate that response to hypoxic stress is highly conserved in humans and chimpanzees.
Sequencing data have been deposited in GEO under accession code GSE117192
Inter-species differences in response to hypoxia in iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from humans and chimpanzeesNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE117192.
GTEx v7Genotype-Tissue Expression Project.
Loss of function intolerant geneshttps://doi.org/10.1038/nature19057.
BHF-UCL gene association fileBHF-UCL gene association file.
NHGRI-EBI GWAS catalog: Genes nearest to GWAS peaksGenes nearest to GWAS peaks.
- Yoav Gilad
- Michelle C Ward
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Sushmita Roy, University of Wisconsin--Madison, United States
© 2019, Ward & Gilad
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Estimating the complex relationship between fitness and genotype or phenotype (i.e. the adaptive landscape) is one of the central goals of evolutionary biology. However, adaptive walks connecting genotypes to organismal fitness, speciation, and novel ecological niches are still poorly understood and processes for surmounting fitness valleys remain controversial. One outstanding system for addressing these connections is a recent adaptive radiation of ecologically and morphologically novel pupfishes (a generalist, molluscivore, and scale-eater) endemic to San Salvador Island, Bahamas. We leveraged whole-genome sequencing of 139 hybrids from two independent field fitness experiments to identify the genomic basis of fitness, estimate genotypic fitness networks, and measure the accessibility of adaptive walks on the fitness landscape. We identified 132 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were significantly associated with fitness in field enclosures. Six out of the 13 regions most strongly associated with fitness contained differentially expressed genes and fixed SNPs between trophic specialists; one gene (mettl21e) was also misexpressed in lab-reared hybrids, suggesting a potential intrinsic genetic incompatibility. We then constructed genotypic fitness networks from adaptive alleles and show that scale-eating specialists are the most isolated of the three species on these networks. Intriguingly, introgressed and de novo variants reduced fitness landscape ruggedness as compared to standing variation, increasing the accessibility of genotypic fitness paths from generalist to specialists. Our results suggest that adaptive introgression and de novo mutations alter the shape of the fitness landscape, providing key connections in adaptive walks circumventing fitness valleys and triggering the evolution of novelty during adaptive radiation.
Meiotic drive supergenes are complexes of alleles at linked loci that together subvert Mendelian segregation resulting in preferential transmission. In males, the most common mechanism of drive involves the disruption of sperm bearing one of a pair of alternative alleles. While at least two loci are important for male drive—the driver and the target—linked modifiers can enhance drive, creating selection pressure to suppress recombination. In this work, we investigate the evolution and genomic consequences of an autosomal, multilocus, male meiotic drive system, Segregation Distorter (SD) in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. In African populations, the predominant SD chromosome variant, SD-Mal, is characterized by two overlapping, paracentric inversions on chromosome arm 2R and nearly perfect (~100%) transmission. We study the SD-Mal system in detail, exploring its components, chromosomal structure, and evolutionary history. Our findings reveal a recent chromosome-scale selective sweep mediated by strong epistatic selection for haplotypes carrying Sd, the main driving allele, and one or more factors within the double inversion. While most SD-Mal chromosomes are homozygous lethal, SD-Mal haplotypes can recombine with other, complementing haplotypes via crossing over, and with wildtype chromosomes via gene conversion. SD-Mal chromosomes have nevertheless accumulated lethal mutations, excess non-synonymous mutations, and excess transposable element insertions. Therefore, SD-Mal haplotypes evolve as a small, semi-isolated subpopulation with a history of strong selection. These results may explain the evolutionary turnover of SD haplotypes in different populations around the world and have implications for supergene evolution broadly.