Publisher: Oxford University Press (Total: 369 journals)
Genome Biology and Evolution
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 1759-6653
Published by Oxford University Press [369 journals]
- Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Spliced Leader Trans-Splicing
Authors: Roy S.
Abstract: Spliced leader trans-splicing (SLTS) is a poorly understood mechanism that is found in a diversity of eukaryotic lineages. In SLTS, a short RNA sequence is added near the 5′ ends of the transcripts of protein-coding genes by a modified spliceosomal reaction. Available data suggest that SLTS has evolved many times, and might be more likely to evolve in animals. That SLTS might be more likely to evolve in the context of the generally complex transcriptomes characteristic of animals suggests the possibility that SLTS functions in gene regulation or transcriptome diversification, however no general novel function for SLTS is known. Here, I report SLTS in a lineage of cellularly complex unicellular eukaryotes. Cryptomonads are a group of eukaryotic algae that acquired photosynthetic capacity by secondary endosymbiosis of a red alga, and that retain a reduced copy of the nucleus of the engulfed alga. I estimate that at least one-fifth of genes in the model cryptomonad Guillardia theta and its relative Hanusia phi undergo SLTS. I show that hundreds of genes in G. theta generate alternative transcripts by SLTS at alternative sites, however I find little evidence for alternative protein production by alternative SLTS splicing. Interestingly, I find no evidence for substantial operon structure in the G. theta genome, in contrast to previous findings in other lineages with SLTS. These results extend SLTS to another major group of eukaryotes, and heighten the mystery of the evolution of SLTS and its association with cellular and transcriptomic complexity.
- Evolutionary Thrift: Mycobacteria Repurpose Plasmid Diversity during
Adaptation of Type VII Secretion Systems
Authors: Mortimer TD; Weber AM, Pepperell CS.
Abstract: Mycobacteria have a distinct secretion system, termed type VII (T7SS), which is encoded by paralogous chromosomal loci (ESX) and associated with pathogenesis, conjugation, and metal homeostasis. Evolution of paralogous gene families is of interest because duplication is an important mechanism by which novel genes evolve, but there are potential conflicts between adaptive forces that stabilize duplications and those that enable evolution of new functions. Our objective was to delineate the adaptive forces underlying diversification of T7SS. Plasmid-borne ESX were described recently, and we found evidence that the initial duplication and divergence of ESX systems occurred on plasmids and was driven by selection for advantageous mutations. Plasmid conjugation has been linked to T7SS and type IV secretion systems (T4SS) in mycobacteria, and we discovered that T7SS and T4SS genes evolved in concert on the plasmids. We hypothesize that differentiation of plasmid ESX helps to prevent conjugation among cells harboring incompatible plasmids. Plasmid ESX appear to have been repurposed following migration to the chromosome, and there is evidence of positive selection driving further differentiation of chromosomal ESX. We hypothesize that ESX loci were initially stabilized on the chromosome by mediating their own transfer. These results emphasize the diverse adaptive paths underlying evolution of novelty, which in this case involved plasmid duplications, selection for advantageous mutations in the mobile and core genomes, migration of the loci between plasmids and chromosomes, and lateral transfer among chromosomes. We discuss further implications for the choice of model organism to study ESX functions in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.