Gene content and patterns of gene expression in the flycatcher genome
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Phenotypic evolution may be driven by changes in the sequence of protein-coding genes or by the way (when, where, at what level) proteins are expressed. Generally, our knowledge about the evolution of gene expression is relatively limited, and this is particularly so for wild populations. Collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) and pied flycatcher (F. hypoleuca) are two recently diverged passerine birds, which have been subject to extensive ecological research, including aspects of speciation. We obtained RNA-seq data with Illumina technology from 10 adult individuals per species (five females and five males) using brain, kidney, liver, lung, muscle, skin, ovary, and testis tissue (plus eight embryos of each species). A total of more than 1 billion sequencing reads were assembled into >15.000 gene models for each species. The proportion of differentially expressed genes between species ranged from 8% to 18% per adult tissue. Very few GO categories were found to be overrepresented among differentially expressed genes, which at least in part might reflect that orphan and not yet annotated genes are prone to evolve more rapidly in gene expression level. However, in testis, the category olfactory receptor activity was significantly overrepresented among differentially expressed genes and it is of interest to note that this category of genes is involved in sperm-egg communication and thereby potentially may contribute to reproductive incompatibility between the two species. Genes with a high degree of differentiation in gene expression between species tended to have high rates of sequence evolution (high dN/dS). Overall, this study illustrates both the feasibility and usefulness of deep transcriptome sequencing in non-model organisms.
Collared flycatcher, Pied flycatcher, Zebra finch, RNA-Seq, Transcriptome sequencing, Species comparison, Gene expression
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-159916OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-159916DiVA: diva2:447422