Divergence in gene expression within and between two closely related flycatcher species
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Compared to DNA sequence evolution, relatively little is known about the character of gene expression evolution as species diverge. For example, it is unclear if gene expression generally evolves in a clock-like manner (by stabilizing selection or from neutral evolution) or if there are frequent episodes of directional selection. To gain insights into the evolutionary divergence of gene expression patterns, we sequenced and compared the transcriptomes of multiple tissues from population samples of collared (Ficedula albicollis) and pied flycatchers (F. hypoleuca), a species pair which diverged less than one million years ago. Tissues resolved into separate clusters in non-metric multidimensional scaling ordination analysis and samples from the two species generally clustered by tissue rather than by species. Tissues differed in the degrees of expression variance within species and divergence between species. Variance was positively correlated with expression breadth and negatively correlated with protein interactivity, suggesting that pleiotropic constraints reduce gene expression variance within species. Variance was correlated with between-species divergence, consistent with a pattern expected from stabilizing selection and neutral evolution. Using an expression QST approach, we identified genes differentially expressed between species. We also identified 10 genes uniquely expressed in one of the species. For one such gene (DPP7, uniquely expressed in collared flycatcher), the absence of expression in pied flycatchers could be associated with a fixed ≈ 20 kb deletion including 11 out of 13 exons in this species. This study conducted in a young vertebrate speciation model system expands our knowledge of how gene expression evolves in natural populations.
Gene regulation, speciation, transcriptomics, collared flycatcher, pied flycatcher, Ficedula
Evolutionary Biology Genetics
Research subject Biology with specialization in Evolutionary Genetics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-258798OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-258798DiVA: diva2:844293