Bi-allelic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers are widely used in population genetic studies. In most studies, sequences either side of the SNPs remain unused, although these sequences contain information beyond that used in population genetic studies. In this study, we show how these sequence tags either side of a single nucleotide polymorphism can be used for comparative genome analysis. We used DArTseq (Diversity Array Technology) derived SNP data for a non-model Australian native freshwater fish, Macquaria ambigua, to identify genes linked to SNP associated sequence tags, and to discover homologies with evolutionarily conserved genes and genomic regions. We concatenated 6,776 SNP sequence tags to create a hypothetical genome (representing 0.1–0.3% of the actual genome), which we used to find sequence homologies with 12 model fish species using the Ensembl genome browser with stringent filtering parameters. We identified sequence homologies for 17 evolutionarily conserved genes (cd9b, plk2b, rhot1b, sh3pxd2aa, si:ch211-148f13.1, si:dkey-166d12.2, zgc:66447, atp8a2, clvs2, lyst, mkln1, mnd1, piga, pik3ca, plagl2, rnf6, sec63) along with an ancestral evolutionarily conserved syntenic block (euteleostomi Block_210). Our analysis also revealed repetitive sequences covering approximately 12% of the hypothetical genome where DNA transposon, LTR and non-LTR retrotransposons were most abundant. A hierarchical pattern of the number of sequence homologies with phylogenetically close species validated the approach for repeatability. This new approach of using SNP associated sequence tags for comparative genome analysis may provide insight into the genome evolution of non-model species where whole genome sequences are unavailable.
The South American arowanas (Osteoglossiformes, Osteoglossidae, Osteoglossum) are emblematic species widely distributed in the Amazon and surrounding basins. Arowana species are under strong anthropogenic pressure as they are extensively exploited for ornamental and food purposes. Until now, limited genetic and cytogenetic information has been available, with only a few studies reporting to their genetic diversity and population structure. In the present study, cytogenetic and DArTseq-derived single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data were used to investigate the genetic diversity of the two Osteoglossum species, the silver arowana O. bicirrhosum, and the black arowana O. ferreirai. Both species differ in their 2n (with 2n = 54 and 56 for O. ferreirai and O. bicirrhosum, respectively) and in the composition and distribution of their repetitive DNA content, consistent with their taxonomic status as different species. Our genetic dataset was coupled with contemporary and paleogeographic niche modeling, to develop concurrent demographic models that were tested against each other with a deep learning approach in O. bicirrhosum. Our genetic results reveal that O. bicirrhosum colonized the Tocantins-Araguaia basin from the Amazon basin about one million years ago. In addition, we highlighted a higher genetic diversity of O. bicirrhosum in the Amazon populations in comparison to those from the Tocantins-Araguaia basin.
Arowanas (Osteoglossinae) are charismatic freshwater fishes with six species and two genera (Osteoglossum and Scleropages) distributed in South America, Asia, and Australia. In an attempt to provide a better assessment of the processes shaping their evolution, we employed a set of cytogenetic and genomic approaches, including i) molecular cytogenetic analyses using C- and CMA3/DAPI staining, repetitive DNA mapping, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), and Zoo-FISH, along with ii) the genotypic analyses of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated by diversity array technology sequencing (DArTseq). We observed diploid chromosome numbers of 2n = 56 and 54 in O. bicirrhosum and O. ferreirai, respectively, and 2n = 50 in S. formosus, while S. jardinii and S. leichardti presented 2n = 48 and 44, respectively. A time-calibrated phylogenetic tree revealed that Osteoglossum and Scleropages divergence occurred approximately 50 million years ago (MYA), at the time of the final separation of Australia and South America (with Antarctica). Asian S. formosus and Australian Scleropages diverged about 35.5 MYA, substantially after the latest terrestrial connection between Australia and Southeast Asia through the Indian plate movement. Our combined data provided a comprehensive perspective of the cytogenomic diversity and evolution of arowana species on a timescale.
Sex‐determining mechanisms change repeatedly throughout evolution, and it is difficult to track this continual process. The Japanese soil‐frog Glandirana rugosa is a remarkable evolutionary witness to the ongoing process of the evolution of sex‐ determining modes. The two geographic groups, designated XY and Neo‐ZW, have homologous sex chromosomes, yet display opposite types of sex chromosomes, XX‐ XY and ZZ‐ZW, respectively. These two groups are sympatric at the edges of their respective ranges in Central Japan. In this study, we discovered molecular evidence that the eastern part of the Neo‐ZW group (Neo‐ZW2 subgroup), which is found near the sympatric area, shares mitochondrial haplotypes with the XY group. By analysing single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci, we have also discovered that the representative nuclear genome of the Neo‐ZW2 subgroup shares allele clusters with both the XY group and another part of the Neo‐ZW group (Neo‐ZW1 subgroup), indicating a hybrid origin of the Neo‐ZW2. Further analysis of sex‐linked SNP loci revealed that the alleles on the W chromosomes of the Neo‐ZW2 were derived mostly from X chromosomes, while alleles on the Z chromosomes originated from the Z chromosomes of the Neo‐ZW1 subgroup and partly from the Y chromosomes of the XY group. Our study revealed that admixture of the two opposite sex‐ chromosome systems reconstructed a female heterogametic system by recycling the X chromosomes into new W chromosomes. This work offers an illustrative example of how de novo sex‐chromosome systems can arise by recycling material from ancestral sex chromosomes
In addition to its wide geographical distribution, osteoglossiform fishes represent one of the most ancient freshwater teleost lineages; making it an important group for systematic and evolutionary studies. These fishes had a Gondwanan origin and their past distribution may have contributed to the diversity present in this group. However, cytogenetic and genomic data are still scarce, making it difficult to track evolutionary trajectories within this order. In addition, their wide distribution, with groups endemic to different continents, hinders an integrative study that allows a globalized view of its evolutionary process. Here, we performed a detailed chromosomal analysis in Notopteridae fishes, using conventional and advanced molecular cytogenetic methods. Moreover, the genetic distances of examined species were assessed by genotyping using diversity arrays technology sequencing (DArTseq). These data provided a clear picture of the genetic diversity between African and Asian Notopteridae species, and were highly consistent with the chromosomal, geographical, and historical data, enlightening their evolutionary diversification. Here, we discuss the impact of continental drift and split of Pangea on their recent diversity, as well as the contribution to biogeographical models that explain their distribution, highlighting the role of the Indian subcontinent in the evolutionary process within the family.
Sex determination systems are exceptionally diverse and have undergone multiple and independent evolutionary transitions among species, particularly reptiles. However, the mechanisms underlying these transitions have not been established. Here, we tested for differences in sex-linked markers in the only known reptile that is polymorphic for sex determination system, the spotted snow skink, Niveoscincus ocellatus, to quantify the genomic differences that have accompanied this transition. In a highland population, sex is determined genetically, whereas in a lowland population, offspring sex ratio is influenced by temperature. We found a similar number of sex-linked loci in each population, including shared loci, with genotypes consistent with male heterogamety (XY). However, population-specific linkage disequilibrium suggests greater differentiation of sex chromosomes in the highland population. Our results suggest that transitions between sex determination systems can be facilitated by subtle genetic differences.
Background: The extent to which sex reversal is associated with transitions in sex determining systems (XX-XY, ZZ-ZW, etc.) or abnormal sexual differentiation is predominantly unexplored in amphibians. This is in large part because most amphibian taxa have homomorphic sex chromosomes, which has traditionally made it challenging to identify discordance between phenotypic and genetic sex in amphibians, despite all amphibians having a genetic component to sex determination. Recent advances in molecular techniques such as genome complexity reduction and high throughput sequencing present a valuable avenue for furthering our understanding of sex determination in amphibians and other taxa with homomorphic sex chromosomes like many fish and reptiles. Results: We use DArTseq as a novel approach to identify sex-linked markers in the North American green frog (Rana clamitans melanota) using lab-reared tadpoles as well as wild-caught adults from seven ponds either in undeveloped, forested habitats or suburban ponds known to be subject to contamination by anthropogenic chemicals. The DArTseq methodology identified 13 sex-linked SNP loci and eight presence-absence loci associated with males, indicating an XX-XY system. Both alleles from a single locus show partial high sequence homology to Dmrt1, a gene linked to sex determination and differentiation throughout Metazoa. Two other loci have sequence similarities to regions of the chimpanzee and human X-chromosome as well as the chicken Z-chromosome. Several loci also show geographic variation in sex-linkage, possibly indicating sex chromosome recombination. While all loci are statistically sex-linked, they show varying degrees of female heterozygosity and male homozygosity, providing further evidence that some markers are on regions of the sex chromosomes undergoing higher rates of recombination and therefore further apart from the putative sex determining locus. Conclusion: The ease of the DArTseq platform provides a useful avenue for future research on sex reversal and sex chromosome evolution in vertebrates, particularly for non-model species with homomorphic or cryptic or nascent sex chromosomes.
Sex determination in animals is amazingly plastic. Vertebrates display contrasting strategies ranging from complete genetic control of sex (genotypic sex determination) to environmentally determined sex (for example, temperature-dependent sex determination)1. Phylogenetic analyses suggest frequent evolutionary transitions between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination in environmentally sensitive lineages, including reptiles2. These transitions are thought to involve a genotypic system becoming sensitive to temperature, with sex determined by gene–environment interactions3. Most mechanistic models of transitions invoke a role for sex reversal3,4,5. Sex reversal has not yet been demonstrated in nature for any amniote, although it occurs in fish6 and rarely in amphibians7,8. Here we make the first report of reptile sex reversal in the wild, in the Australian bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), and use sex-reversed animals to experimentally induce a rapid transition from genotypic to temperature-dependent sex determination. Controlled mating of normal males to sex-reversed females produces viable and fertile offspring whose phenotypic sex is determined solely by temperature (temperature-dependent sex determination). The W sex chromosome is eliminated from this lineage in the first generation. The instantaneous creation of a lineage of ZZ temperature-sensitive animals reveals a novel, climate-induced pathway for the rapid transition between genetic and temperature-dependent sex determination, and adds to concern about adaptation to rapid global climate change.