Predominance of cis-regulatory changes in parallel expression divergence of sticklebacks
Regulation of gene expression is thought to play a major role in adaptation but the relative importance of cis- and trans- regulatory mechanisms in the early stages of adaptive divergence is unclear. Using RNAseq of threespine stickleback fish gill tissue from four independent marine-freshwater ecotype pairs and their F1 hybrids, we show that cis-acting (allele-specific) regulation consistently predominates gene expression divergence. Genes showing parallel marine-freshwater expression divergence are found near to adaptive genomic regions, show signatures of natural selection around their transcription start sites and are enriched for cis-regulatory control. For genes with parallel increased expression among freshwater fish, the quantitative degree of cis- and trans-regulation is also highly correlated across populations, suggesting a shared genetic basis. Compared to other forms of regulation, cis-regulation tends to show greater additivity and stability across different genetic and environmental contexts, making it a fertile substrate for the early stages of adaptive evolution.
Data has been deposited to the Sequence Read Archive under the accession PRJNA530695. All scripts used in data analysis are available at https://github.com/jpverta/verta_jones_elife_2019.git
Predominance of cis-regulatory changes in parallel expression divergence of sticklebacksNCBI Sequence Read Archive, PRJNA530695.
Article and author information
H2020 European Research Council (FP7)
- Felicity C Jones
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All of the animals were housed at an approved animal facility and handled according to Baden-Württemberg State approved protocols at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany (license numbers 35/9185.82-5 and 35/9185.40).
- Juliette de Meaux, University of Cologne, Germany
- Received: November 27, 2018
- Accepted: May 1, 2019
- Accepted Manuscript published: May 15, 2019 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: June 5, 2019 (version 2)
© 2019, Verta & Jones
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.
- Page views
Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, Scopus, PubMed Central.
Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)
Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)
Cite this article (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)
- Genetics and Genomics
- Evolutionary Biology
Brain size and cortical folding have increased and decreased recurrently during mammalian evolution. Identifying genetic elements whose sequence or functional properties co-evolve with these traits can provide unique information on evolutionary and developmental mechanisms. A good candidate for such a comparative approach is TRNP1, as it controls proliferation of neural progenitors in mice and ferrets. Here, we investigate the contribution of both regulatory and coding sequences of TRNP1 to brain size and cortical folding in over 30 mammals. We find that the rate of TRNP1 protein evolution (ω) significantly correlates with brain size, slightly less with cortical folding and much less with body size. This brain correlation is stronger than for >95% of random control proteins. This co-evolution is likely affecting TRNP1 activity, as we find that TRNP1 from species with larger brains and more cortical folding induce higher proliferation rates in neural stem cells. Furthermore, we compare the activity of putative cis-regulatory elements (CREs) of TRNP1 in a massively parallel reporter assay and identify one CRE that likely co-evolves with cortical folding in Old World monkeys and apes. Our analyses indicate that coding and regulatory changes that increased TRNP1 activity were positively selected either as a cause or a consequence of increases in brain size and cortical folding. They also provide an example how phylogenetic approaches can inform biological mechanisms, especially when combined with molecular phenotypes across several species.
- Developmental Biology
- Evolutionary Biology
Wing dimorphism in insects is an evolutionarily adaptive trait to maximize insect fitness under various environments, by which the population could be balanced between dispersing and reproduction. Most studies concern the regulatory mechanisms underlying the stimulation of wing morph in aphids, but relatively little research addresses the molecular basis of wing loss. Here, we found that, while developing normally in winged-destined pea aphids, the wing disc in wingless-destined aphids degenerated 30-hr postbirth and that this degeneration was due to autophagy rather than apoptosis. Activation of autophagy in first instar nymphs reduced the proportion of winged aphids, and suppression of autophagy increased the proportion. REPTOR2, associated with TOR signaling pathway, was identified by RNA-seq as a differentially expressed gene between the two morphs with higher expression in the thorax of wingless-destined aphids. Further genetic analysis indicated that REPTOR2 could be a novel gene derived from a gene duplication event that occurred exclusively in pea aphids on autosome A1 but translocated to the sex chromosome. Knockdown of REPTOR2 reduced autophagy in the wing disc and increased the proportion of winged aphids. In agreement with REPTOR’s canonical negative regulatory role of TOR on autophagy, winged-destined aphids had higher TOR expression in the wing disc. Suppression of TOR activated autophagy of the wing disc and decreased the proportion of winged aphids, and vice versa. Co-suppression of TOR and REPTOR2 showed that dsREPTOR2 could mask the positive effect of dsTOR on autophagy, suggesting that REPTOR2 acted as a key regulator downstream of TOR in the signaling pathway. These results revealed that the TOR signaling pathway suppressed autophagic degradation of the wing disc in pea aphids by negatively regulating the expression of REPTOR2.