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Large tandem duplications affect gene expression, 3D organization, and plant–pathogen response


Abstract

Rapid plant genome evolution is crucial to adapt to environmental changes. Chromosomal rearrangements and gene copy number variation (CNV) are two important tools for genome evolution and sources for the creation of new genes. However, their emergence takes many generations. In this study, we show that in Arabidopsis thaliana, a significant loss of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes with a past history of a mutation for the chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF1) complex causes rapid changes in the genome structure. Using long-read sequencing and microscopic approaches, we have identified up to 15 independent large tandem duplications in direct orientation (TDDOs) ranging from 60 kb to 1.44 Mb. Our data suggest that these TDDOs appeared within a few generations, leading to the duplication of hundreds of genes. By subsequently focusing on a line only containing 20% of rRNA gene copies (20rDNA line), we investigated the impact of TDDOs on 3D genome organization, gene expression, and cytosine methylation. We found that duplicated genes often accumulate more transcripts. Among them, several are involved in plant–pathogen response, which could explain why the 20rDNA line is hyper-resistant to both bacterial and nematode infections. Finally, we show that the TDDOs create gene fusions and/or truncations and discuss their potential implications for the evolution of plant genomes.

Abstract

Rapid plant genome evolution is crucial to adapt to environmental changes. Chromosomal rearrangements and gene copy number variation (CNV) are two important tools for genome evolution and sources for the creation of new genes. However, their emergence takes many generations. In this study, we show that in Arabidopsis thaliana, a significant loss of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes with a past history of a mutation for the chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF1) complex causes rapid changes in the genome structure. Using long-read sequencing and microscopic approaches, we have identified up to 15 independent large tandem duplications in direct orientation (TDDOs) ranging from 60 kb to 1.44 Mb. Our data suggest that these TDDOs appeared within a few generations, leading to the duplication of hundreds of genes. By subsequently focusing on a line only containing 20% of rRNA gene copies (20rDNA line), we investigated the impact of TDDOs on 3D genome organization, gene expression, and cytosine methylation. We found that duplicated genes often accumulate more transcripts. Among them, several are involved in plant–pathogen response, which could explain why the 20rDNA line is hyper-resistant to both bacterial and nematode infections. Finally, we show that the TDDOs create gene fusions and/or truncations and discuss their potential implications for the evolution of plant genomes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Genetics
Health Sciences > Genetics (clinical)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Genetics(clinical), Genetics
Language:English
Date:1 November 2020
Deposited On:19 Jan 2021 16:27
Last Modified:20 Jan 2021 21:02
Publisher:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
ISSN:1088-9051
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1101/gr.261586.120
Project Information:
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID764965
  • : Project TitleEPIDIVERSE - Epigenetic Diversity in Ecology

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