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General lack of global dosage compensation in ZZ/ZW systems?: Broadening the perspective with RNA-seq
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology.
2011 (English)In: BMC Genomics, ISSN 1471-2164, E-ISSN 1471-2164, Vol. 12, 91- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Species with heteromorphic sex chromosomes face the challenge of large-scale imbalance in gene dose. Microarray-based studies in several independent male heterogametic XX/XY systems suggest that dosage compensation mechanisms are in place to mitigate the detrimental effects of gene dose differences. However, recent genomic research on female heterogametic ZZ/ZW systems has generated surprising results. In two bird species and one lepidopteran no evidence for a global dosage compensating mechanism has been found. The recent advent of massively parallel RNA sequencing now opens up the possibility to gauge the generality of this observation with a broader phylogenetic sampling. It further allows assessing the validity of microarray-based inference on dosage compensation with a novel technology.Results: We here expemplify this approach using massively parallel sequencing on barcoded individuals of a bird species, the European crow (Corvus corone), where previously no genetic resources were available. Testing for Z-linkage with quantitative PCR (qPCR,) we first establish that orthology with distantly related species (chicken, zebra finch) can be used as a good predictor for chromosomal affiliation of a gene. We then use a digital measure of gene expression (RNA-seq) on brain transcriptome and confirm a global lack of dosage compensation on the Z chromosome. RNA-seq estimates of male-to-female (m:f) expression difference on the Z compare well to previous microarray-based estimates in birds and lepidopterans. The data further lends support that an up-regulation of female Z-linked genes conveys partial compensation and suggest a relationship between sex-bias and absolute expression level of a gene. Correlation of sex-biased gene expression on the Z chromosome across all three bird species further suggests that the degree of compensation has been partly conserved across 100 million years of avian evolution.Conclusions: This work demonstrates that the study of dosage compensation has become amenable to species where previously no genetic resources were available. Massively parallele transcriptome sequencing allows re-assessing the degree of dosage compensation with a novel tool in well-studies species and, in addition, gain valuable insights into the generality of mechanisms across independent taxonomic group for both the XX/XY and ZZ/ZW system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 12, 91- p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-146331DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-12-91ISI: 000287413200001PubMedID: 21284834OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-146331DiVA: diva2:398059
Available from: 2011-02-16 Created: 2011-02-16 Last updated: 2016-04-27Bibliographically approved

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