The dynamics and diversity of the appearance of genetic variants play an essential role in the evolution of the genome and the shaping of biodiversity. Recent population-wide genome sequencing surveys have highlighted the importance of loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) events and have shown that they are a neglected part of the genetic diversity landscape. To assess the extent, variability, and spectrum, we explored the accumulation of LOH events in 169 heterozygous diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutation accumulation lines across nine genetic backgrounds. In total, we detected a large set of 22,828 LOH events across distinct genetic backgrounds with a heterozygous level ranging from 0.1 to 1%. LOH events are very frequent with a rate consistently much higher than the mutation rate, showing their importance for genome evolution. We observed that the interstitial LOH (I-LOH) events, resulting in internal short LOH tracts, were much frequent (n = 19,660) than the terminal LOH (T-LOH) events, i.e., tracts extending to the end of the chromosome (n = 3,168). However, the spectrum, the rate, and the fraction of the genome under LOH vary across genetic backgrounds. Interestingly, we observed that the more the ancestors were heterozygous, the more they accumulated T-LOH events. In addition, frequent short I-LOH tracts are a signature of the lines derived from hybrids with low spore fertility. Finally, we found lines showing almost complete homozygotization during vegetative progression. Overall, our results highlight that the variable dynamics of the LOH accumulation across distinct genetic backgrounds might lead to rapid differential genome evolution during vegetative growth.
Sequence data are available from National Centre for Biotechnology Information Sequence Read Archive under accession number: PRJEB43186.
- Joseph Schacherer
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Antonis Rokas, Vanderbilt University, United States
© 2021, Dutta et al.
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.
In the first meiotic cell division, proper segregation of chromosomes in most organisms depends on chiasmata, exchanges of continuity between homologous chromosomes that originate from the repair of programmed double-strand breaks (DSBs) catalyzed by the Spo11 endonuclease. Since DSBs can lead to irreparable damage in germ cells, while chromosomes lacking DSBs also lack chiasmata, the number of DSBs must be carefully regulated to be neither too high nor too low. Here, we show that in Caenorhabditis elegans, meiotic DSB levels are controlled by the phosphoregulation of DSB-1, a homolog of the yeast Spo11 cofactor Rec114, by the opposing activities of PP4PPH-4.1 phosphatase and ATRATL-1 kinase. Increased DSB-1 phosphorylation in pph-4.1 mutants correlates with reduction in DSB formation, while prevention of DSB-1 phosphorylation drastically increases the number of meiotic DSBs both in pph-4.1 mutants as well as in the wild type background. C. elegans and its close relatives also possess a diverged paralog of DSB-1, called DSB-2, and loss of dsb-2 is known to reduce DSB formation in oocytes with increasing age. We show that the proportion of the phosphorylated, and thus inactivated, form of DSB-1 increases with age and upon loss of DSB-2, while non-phosphorylatable DSB-1 rescues the age-dependent decrease in DSBs in dsb-2 mutants. These results suggest that DSB-2 evolved in part to compensate for the inactivation of DSB-1 through phosphorylation, to maintain levels of DSBs in older animals. Our work shows that PP4PPH-4.1, ATRATL-1, and DSB-2 act in concert with DSB-1 to promote optimal DSB levels throughout the reproductive lifespan.
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