Michael W Nachman

University of Porto, Oporto, Porto, Portugal

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Publications (87)649.63 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Post-copulatory sexual selection in the form of sperm competition is known to influence the evolution of male reproductive proteins in mammals. The relationship between sperm competition and regulatory evolution, however, remains to be explored. Protamines and transition nuclear proteins are involved in the condensation of sperm chromatin and are expected to affect the shape of the sperm head. A hydrodynamically efficient head allows for fast swimming velocity and, therefore, more competitive sperm. Previous comparative studies in rodents have documented a significant association between the level of sperm competition (as measured by relative testes mass) and DNA sequence evolution in both the coding and promoter sequences of protamine 2. Here, we investigate the influence of sexual selection on protamine and transition nuclear protein mRNA expression in the testes of eight mouse species that differ widely in levels of sperm competition. We also examined the relationship between relative gene expression levels and sperm head shape, assessed using geometric morphometrics. We found that species with higher levels of sperm competition express less protamine 2 in relation to protamine 1 and transition nuclear proteins. Moreover, there was a significant association between relative protamine 2 expression and sperm head shape. Reduction in the relative abundance of protamine 2 may increase the competitive ability of sperm in mice, possibly by affecting sperm head shape. Changes in gene regulatory sequences thus seem to be the basis of the evolutionary response to sexual selection in these proteins.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 03/2014; 281(1783):20133359. · 5.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Speciation is a fundamental evolutionary process, the knowledge of which is crucial for understanding the origins of biodiversity. Genomic approaches are an increasingly important aspect of this research field. We review current understanding of genome-wide effects of accumulating reproductive isolation and of genomic properties that influence the process of speciation. Building on this work, we identify emergent trends and gaps in our understanding, propose new approaches to more fully integrate genomics into speciation research, translate speciation theory into hypotheses that are testable using genomic tools and provide an integrative definition of the field of speciation genomics.
    Nature Reviews Genetics 02/2014; 15(3):176-92. · 41.06 Impact Factor
  • Polly Campbell, Michael W Nachman
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    ABSTRACT: The genetic basis of hybrid male sterility in house mice is complex, highly polygenic, and strongly X-linked. Previous work suggested that there might be interactions between the Mus musculus musculus X and the Mus musculus domesticus Y with a large negative effect on sperm head morphology in hybrid males with an F1 autosomal background. To test this, we introgressed the M. m. domesticus Y onto a M. m. musculus background and measured the change in sperm morphology, testis weight and sperm count across early backcross generations and in eleventh generation backcross males in which the opportunity for X-autosome incompatibilities is effectively eliminated. We found that abnormality in sperm morphology persists in M. m. domesticus Y introgression males, and that this phenotype is rescued by M. m. domesticus introgressions on the X chromosome. In contrast, the severe reductions in testis weight and sperm count that characterize F1 males were eliminated after one generation of backcrossing. These results indicate that X-Y incompatibilities contribute specifically to sperm morphology. In contrast, X-autosome incompatibilities contribute to low testis weight, low sperm count, and sperm morphology. Restoration of normal testis weight and sperm count in first generation backcross males suggests that a small number of complex incompatibilities between loci on the M. m. musculus X and the M. m. domesticus autosomes underlie F1 male sterility. Together, these results provide insight into the genetic architecture of F1 male sterility, and help to explain genome-wide patterns of introgression across the house mouse hybrid zone.
    Genetics 02/2014; · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maintenance of genetic distinction in the face of gene flow is an important aspect of the speciation process. Here, we provide a detailed spatial and genetic characterization of a hybrid zone between two subspecies of the European rabbit. We examined patterns of allele frequency change for 22 markers located on the autosomes, X-chromosome, Y-chromosome and mtDNA in 1078 individuals sampled across the hybrid zone. While some loci revealed extremely wide clines (w ≥ 300 km) relative to an estimated dispersal of 1.95-4.22 km/generation, others showed abrupt transitions (w ≈ 10 km), indicating localized genomic regions of strong selection against introgression. The subset of loci showing steep clines had largely coincident centers and stepped changes in allele frequency that did not co-localize with any physical barrier or ecotone, suggesting that the rabbit hybrid zone is a tension zone. The steepest clines were for X- and Y-chromosome markers. Our results are consistent with previous inference based on DNA sequence variation of individuals sampled in allopatry in suggesting that a large proportion of each genome has escaped the overall barrier to gene flow in the middle of the hybrid zone. These results imply an old history of hybridization and high effective gene flow and anticipate that isolation factors should often localize to small genomic regions.
    Molecular Ecology 03/2013; · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Polly Campbell, Jeffrey M Good, Michael W Nachman
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    ABSTRACT: In male mammals, the X and Y chromosomes are transcriptionally silenced in primary spermatocytes by meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI) and remain repressed for the duration of spermatogenesis. Here, we test the longstanding hypothesis that disrupted MSCI might contribute to the preferential sterility of heterogametic hybrid males. We studied a cross between wild-derived inbred strains of Mus musculus musculus and M. m. domesticus in which sterility is asymmetric: F(1) males with a M. m. musculus mother are sterile or nearly so while F(1) males with a M. m. domesticus mother are normal. In previous work, we discovered widespread over-expression of X-linked genes in the testes of sterile but not fertile F(1) males. Here, we ask whether this over-expression is specifically a result of disrupted MSCI. To do this, we isolated cells from different stages of spermatogenesis and measured the expression of several genes using quantitative PCR. We found that X over-expression in sterile F(1) primary spermatocytes is coincident with the onset of MSCI and persists in postmeiotic spermatids. Using a series of recombinant X genotypes, we then asked whether X over-expression in hybrids is controlled by cis-acting loci across the X chromosome. We found that it is not. Instead, one large interval in the proximal portion of the M. m. musculus X chromosome is associated with both over-expression and the severity of sterility phenotypes in hybrids. These results demonstrate a strong association between X-linked hybrid male sterility and disruption of MSCI, and suggest that trans-acting loci on the X are important for the transcriptional regulation of the X chromosome during spermatogenesis.
    Genetics 01/2013; · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hybrid sterility in the heterogametic sex is a common feature of speciation in animals. In house mice, the contribution of the Mus musculus musculus X chromosome to hybrid male sterility is large. It is not known, however, whether F1 male sterility is caused by X-Y or X-autosome incompatibilities or a combination of both. We investigated the contribution of the M. musculus domesticus Y chromosome to hybrid male sterility in a cross between wild-derived strains in which males with a M. m. musculus X chromosome and M. m. domesticus Y chromosome are partially sterile, while males from the reciprocal cross are reproductively normal. We used eight X introgression lines to combine different X chromosome genotypes with different Y chromosomes on an F1 autosomal background, and we measured a suite of male reproductive traits. Reproductive deficits were observed in most F1 males, regardless of Y chromosome genotype. Nonetheless, we found evidence for a negative interaction between the M. m. domesticus Y and an interval on the M. m. musculus X that resulted in abnormal sperm morphology. Therefore, although F1 male sterility appears to be caused mainly by X-autosome incompatibilities, X-Y incompatibilities contribute to some aspects of sterility.
    Genetics 05/2012; 191(4):1271-81. · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of a hybrid zone between two house mouse subspecies (Mus musculus musculus and M. m. domesticus) along with studies using laboratory crosses reveal a large role for the X chromosome and multiple autosomal regions in reproductive isolation as a consequence of disrupted epistasis in hybrids. One limitation of previous work has been that most of the identified genomic regions have been large. The goal here is to detect and characterize precise genomic regions underlying reproductive isolation. We surveyed 1401 markers evenly spaced across the genome in 679 mice collected from two different transects. Comparisons between transects provide a means for identifying common patterns that likely reflect intrinsic incompatibilities. We used a genomic cline approach to identify patterns that correspond to epistasis. From both transects, we identified contiguous regions on the X chromosome in which markers were inferred to be involved in epistatic interactions. We then searched for autosomal regions showing the same patterns and found they constitute about 5% of autosomal markers. We discovered substantial overlap between these candidate regions underlying reproductive isolation and QTL for hybrid sterility identified in laboratory crosses. Analysis of gene content in these regions suggests a key role for several mechanisms, including the regulation of transcription, sexual conflict and sexual selection operating at both the postmating prezygotic and postzygotic stages of reproductive isolation. Taken together, these results indicate that speciation in two recently diverged (c. 0.5 Ma) house mouse subspecies is complex, involving many genes dispersed throughout the genome and associated with distinct functions.
    Molecular Ecology 05/2012; 21(12):3032-47. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Estimates of the proportion of amino acid substitutions that have been fixed by selection (α) vary widely among taxa, ranging from zero in humans to over 50% in Drosophila. This wide range may reflect differences in the efficacy of selection due to differences in the effective population size (N(e)). However, most comparisons have been made among distantly related organisms that differ not only in N(e) but also in many other aspects of their biology. Here, we estimate α in three closely related lineages of house mice that have a similar ecology but differ widely in N(e): Mus musculus musculus (N(e) ∼ 25,000-120,000), M. m. domesticus (N(e) ∼ 58,000-200,000), and M. m. castaneus (N(e) ∼ 200,000-733,000). Mice were genotyped using a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism array, and the proportions of replacement and silent mutations within subspecies were compared with those fixed between each subspecies and an outgroup, Mus spretus. There was significant evidence of positive selection in M. m. castaneus, the lineage with the largest N(e), with α estimated to be approximately 40%. In contrast, estimates of α for M. m. domesticus (α = 13%) and for M. m. musculus (α = 12 %) were much smaller. Interestingly, the higher estimate of α for M. m. castaneus appears to reflect not only more adaptive fixations but also more effective purifying selection. These results support the hypothesis that differences in N(e) contribute to differences among species in the efficacy of selection.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 04/2012; 29(10):2949-55. · 10.35 Impact Factor
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    Michael W Nachman, Bret A Payseur
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    ABSTRACT: Recently diverged taxa may continue to exchange genes. A number of models of speciation with gene flow propose that the frequency of gene exchange will be lower in genomic regions of low recombination and that these regions will therefore be more differentiated. However, several population-genetic models that focus on selection at linked sites also predict greater differentiation in regions of low recombination simply as a result of faster sorting of ancestral alleles even in the absence of gene flow. Moreover, identifying the actual amount of gene flow from patterns of genetic variation is tricky, because both ancestral polymorphism and migration lead to shared variation between recently diverged taxa. New analytic methods have been developed to help distinguish ancestral polymorphism from migration. Along with a growing number of datasets of multi-locus DNA sequence variation, these methods have spawned a renewed interest in speciation models with gene flow. Here, we review both speciation and population-genetic models that make explicit predictions about how the rate of recombination influences patterns of genetic variation within and between species. We then compare those predictions with empirical data of DNA sequence variation in rabbits and mice. We find strong support for the prediction that genomic regions experiencing low levels of recombination are more differentiated. In most cases, reduced gene flow appears to contribute to the pattern, although disentangling the relative contribution of reduced gene flow and selection at linked sites remains a challenge. We suggest fruitful areas of research that might help distinguish between different models.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 02/2012; 367(1587):409-21. · 6.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The nearly neutral theory of molecular evolution predicts that the efficacy of both positive and purifying selection is a function of the long-term effective population size (N(e)) of a species. Under this theory, the efficacy of natural selection should increase with N(e). Here, we tested this simple prediction by surveying ~1.5 to 1.8 Mb of protein coding sequence in the two subspecies of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus and O. c. cuniculus), a mammal species characterized by high levels of nucleotide diversity and N(e) estimates for each subspecies on the order of 1 × 10(6). When the segregation of slightly deleterious mutations and demographic effects were taken into account, we inferred that >60% of amino acid substitutions on the autosomes were driven to fixation by positive selection. Moreover, we inferred that a small fraction of new amino acid mutations (<4%) are effectively neutral (defined as 0 < N(e)s < 1) and that this fraction was negatively correlated with a gene's expression level. Consistent with models of recurrent adaptive evolution, we detected a negative correlation between levels of synonymous site polymorphism and the rate of protein evolution, although the correlation was weak and nonsignificant. No systematic X chromosome-autosome difference was found in the efficacy of selection. For example, the proportion of adaptive substitutions was significantly higher on the X chromosome compared with the autosomes in O. c. algirus but not in O. c. cuniculus. Our findings support widespread positive and purifying selection in rabbits and add to a growing list of examples suggesting that differences in N(e) among taxa play a substantial role in determining rates and patterns of protein evolution.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 01/2012; 29(7):1837-49. · 10.35 Impact Factor
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    A Geraldes, P Basset, K L Smith, M W Nachman
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    ABSTRACT: In the early stages of reproductive isolation, genomic regions of reduced recombination are expected to show greater levels of differentiation, either because gene flow between species is reduced in these regions or because the effects of selection at linked sites within species are enhanced in these regions. Here, we study the patterns of DNA sequence variation at 27 autosomal loci among populations of Mus musculus musculus, M. m. domesticus, and M. m. castaneus, three subspecies of house mice with collinear genomes. We found that some loci exhibit considerable shared variation among subspecies, while others exhibit fixed differences. We used an isolation-with-gene-flow model to estimate divergence times and effective population sizes (N(e) ) and to disentangle ancestral variation from gene flow. Estimates of divergence time indicate that all three subspecies diverged from one another within a very short period of time approximately 350,000 years ago. Overall, N(e) for each subspecies was associated with the degree of genetic differentiation: M. m. musculus had the smallest N(e) and the greatest proportion of monophyletic gene genealogies, while M. m. castaneus had the largest N(e) and the smallest proportion of monophyletic gene genealogies. M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus were more differentiated from each other than either were from M. m. castaneus, consistent with greater reproductive isolation between M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus. F(ST) was significantly greater at loci experiencing low recombination rates compared to loci experiencing high recombination rates in comparisons between M. m. castaneus and M. m. musculus or M. m. domesticus. These results provide evidence that genomic regions with less recombination show greater differentiation, even in the absence of chromosomal rearrangements.
    Molecular Ecology 11/2011; 20(22):4722-36. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymorphisms in the vitamin K 2,3-epoxide reductase subcomponent 1 (vkorc1) of house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) can cause resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides such as warfarin [1-3]. Here we show that resistant house mice can also originate from selection on vkorc1 polymorphisms acquired from the Algerian mouse (M. spretus) through introgressive hybridization. We report on a polymorphic introgressed genomic region in European M. m. domesticus that stems from M. spretus, spans >10 Mb on chromosome 7, and includes the molecular target of anticoagulants vkorc1 [1-4]. We show that in the laboratory, the homozygous complete vkorc1 allele of M. spretus confers resistance when introgressed into M. m. domesticus. Consistent with selection on the introgressed allele after the introduction of rodenticides in the 1950s, we found signatures of selection in patterns of variation in M. m. domesticus. Furthermore, we detected adaptive protein evolution of vkorc1 in M. spretus (Ka/Ks = 1.54-1.93) resulting in radical amino acid substitutions that apparently cause anticoagulant tolerance in M. spretus as a pleiotropic effect. Thus, positive selection produced an adaptive, divergent, and pleiotropic vkorc1 allele in the donor species, M. spretus, which crossed a species barrier and produced an adaptive polymorphic trait in the recipient species, M. m. domesticus.
    Current biology: CB 08/2011; 21(15):1296-301. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Theory predicts that naturally occurring hybrid zones between genetically distinct taxa can move over space and time as a result of selection and/or demographic processes, with certain types of hybrid zones being more or less likely to move. Determining whether a hybrid zone is stationary or moving has important implications for understanding evolutionary processes affecting interactions in hybrid populations. However, direct observations of hybrid zone movement are difficult to make unless the zone is moving rapidly. Here, evidence for movement in the house mouse Mus musculus domesticus × Mus musculus musculus hybrid zone is provided using measures of LD and haplotype structure among neighbouring SNP markers from across the genome. Local populations of mice across two transects in Germany and the Czech Republic were sampled, and a total of 1301 mice were genotyped at 1401 markers from the nuclear genome. Empirical measures of LD provide evidence for extinction and (re)colonization in single populations and, together with simulations, suggest hybrid zone movement because of either geography-dependent asymmetrical dispersal or selection favouring one subspecies over the other.
    Molecular Ecology 06/2011; 20(14):2985-3000. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seminal fluid plays an important role in successful fertilization, but knowledge of the full suite of proteins transferred from males to females during copulation is incomplete. The list of ejaculated proteins remains particularly scant in one of the best-studied mammalian systems, the house mouse (Mus domesticus), where artificial ejaculation techniques have proven inadequate. Here we investigate an alternative method for identifying ejaculated proteins, by isotopically labeling females with 15N and then mating them to unlabeled, vasectomized males. Proteins were then isolated from mated females and identified using mass spectrometry. In addition to gaining insights into possible functions and fates of ejaculated proteins, our study serves as proof of concept that isotopic labeling is a powerful means to study reproductive proteins. We identified 69 male-derived proteins from the female reproductive tract following copulation. More than a third of all spectra detected mapped to just seven genes known to be structurally important in the formation of the copulatory plug, a hard coagulum that forms shortly after mating. Seminal fluid is significantly enriched for proteins that function in protection from oxidative stress and endopeptidase inhibition. Females, on the other hand, produce endopeptidases in response to mating. The 69 ejaculated proteins evolve significantly more rapidly than other proteins that we previously identified directly from dissection of the male reproductive tract. Our study attempts to comprehensively identify the proteins transferred from males to females during mating, expanding the application of isotopic labeling to mammalian reproductive genomics. This technique opens the way to the targeted monitoring of the fate of ejaculated proteins as they incubate in the female reproductive tract.
    BMC Genomics 06/2011; 12:306. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we provide a genome-wide, high-resolution map of the phylogenetic origin of the genome of most extant laboratory mouse inbred strains. Our analysis is based on the genotypes of wild-caught mice from three subspecies of Mus musculus. We show that classical laboratory strains are derived from a few fancy mice with limited haplotype diversity. Their genomes are overwhelmingly Mus musculus domesticus in origin, and the remainder is mostly of Japanese origin. We generated genome-wide haplotype maps based on identity by descent from fancy mice and show that classical inbred strains have limited and non-randomly distributed genetic diversity. In contrast, wild-derived laboratory strains represent a broad sampling of diversity within M. musculus. Intersubspecific introgression is pervasive in these strains, and contamination by laboratory stocks has played a role in this process. The subspecific origin, haplotype diversity and identity by descent maps can be visualized using the Mouse Phylogeny Viewer (see URLs).
    Nature Genetics 05/2011; 43(7):648-55. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the genetic structure of domestic species provides a window into the process of domestication and motivates the design of studies aimed at making links between genotype and phenotype. Rabbits exhibit exceptional phenotypic diversity, are of great commercial value, and serve as important animal models in biomedical research. Here, we provide the first comprehensive survey of nucleotide polymorphism and linkage disequilibrium (LD) within and among rabbit breeds. We resequenced 16 genomic regions in population samples of both wild and domestic rabbits and additional 35 fragments in 150 rabbits representing six commonly used breeds. Patterns of genetic variation suggest a single origin of domestication in wild populations from France, supporting historical records that place rabbit domestication in French monasteries. Levels of nucleotide diversity both within and among breeds were ~0.2%, but only 60% of the diversity present in wild populations from France was captured by domestic rabbits. Despite the recent origin of most breeds, levels of population differentiation were high (F(ST) = 17.9%), but the majority of polymorphisms were shared and thus transferable among breeds. Coalescent simulations suggest that domestication began with a small founding population of less than 1,200 individuals. Taking into account the complex demographic history of domestication with two successive bottlenecks, two loci showed deviations that were consistent with artificial selection, including GPC4, which is known to be associated with growth rates in humans. Levels of diversity were not significantly different between autosomal and X-linked loci, providing no evidence for differential contributions of males and females to the domesticated gene pool. The structure of LD differed substantially within and among breeds. Within breeds, LD extends over large genomic distances. Markers separated by 400 kb typically showed r(2) higher than 0.2, and some LD extended up to 3,200 kb. Much less LD was found among breeds. This advantageous LD structure holds great promise for reducing the interval of association in future mapping studies.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 01/2011; 28(6):1801-16. · 10.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ecological character displacement is a process of phenotypic differentiation of sympatric populations caused by interspecific competition. Such differentiation could facilitate speciation by enhancing reproductive isolation between incipient species, although empirical evidence for it at early stages of divergence when gene flow still occurs between the species is relatively scarce. Here we studied patterns of morphological variation in sympatric and allopatric populations of two hybridizing species of birds, the Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) and the Thrush Nightingale (L. luscinia). We conducted principal component (PC) analysis of morphological traits and found that nightingale species converged in overall body size (PC1) and diverged in relative bill size (PC3) in sympatry. Closer analysis of morphological variation along geographical gradients revealed that the convergence in body size can be attributed largely to increasing body size with increasing latitude, a phenomenon known as Bergmann's rule. In contrast, interspecific interactions contributed significantly to the observed divergence in relative bill size, even after controlling for the effects of geographical gradients. We suggest that the divergence in bill size most likely reflects segregation of feeding niches between the species in sympatry. Our results suggest that interspecific competition for food resources can drive species divergence even in the face of ongoing hybridization. Such divergence may enhance reproductive isolation between the species and thus contribute to speciation.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology 01/2011; 11:138. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The X chromosome plays an important role in both adaptive evolution and speciation. We used a molecular evolutionary screen of X-linked genes potentially involved in reproductive isolation in mice to identify putative targets of recurrent positive selection. We then sequenced five very rapidly evolving genes within and between several closely related species of mice in the genus Mus. All five genes were involved in male reproduction and four of the genes showed evidence of recurrent positive selection. The most remarkable evolutionary patterns were found at Testis-specific gene a8 (Tsga8), a spermatogenesis-specific gene expressed during postmeiotic chromatin condensation and nuclear transformation. Tsga8 was characterized by extremely high levels of insertion-deletion variation of an alanine-rich repetitive motif in natural populations of Mus domesticus and M. musculus, differing in length from the reference mouse genome by up to 89 amino acids (27% of the total protein length). This population-level variation was coupled with striking divergence in protein sequence and length between closely related mouse species. Although no clear orthologs had previously been described for Tsga8 in other mammalian species, we have identified a highly divergent hypothetical gene on the rat X chromosome that shares clear orthology with the 5' and 3' ends of Tsga8. Further inspection of this ortholog verified that it is expressed in rat testis and shares remarkable similarity with mouse Tsga8 across several general features of the protein sequence despite no conservation of nucleotide sequence across over 60% of the rat-coding domain. Overall, Tsga8 appears to be one of the most rapidly evolving genes to have been described in rodents. We discuss the potential evolutionary causes and functional implications of this extraordinary divergence and the possible contribution of Tsga8 and the other four genes we examined to reproductive isolation in mice.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 12/2010; 28(5):1675-86. · 10.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of gene flow between closely related taxa can provide insight into the genetic basis of speciation. To evaluate the importance of the X chromosome in reproductive isolation between subspecies of the European rabbit and to study the genomic scale over which islands of differentiation extend, we resequenced a total of 34 loci distributed along the X chromosome and chromosome 14. Previous studies based on few markers suggested that loci in centromeric regions were highly differentiated between rabbit subspecies, whereas loci in telomeric regions were less differentiated. Here, we confirmed this finding but also discovered remarkable variation in levels of differentiation among loci, with F(ST) values from nearly 0 to 1. Analyses using isolation-with-migration models suggest that this range appears to be largely explained by differential levels of gene flow among loci. The X chromosome was significantly more differentiated than the autosomes. On chromosome 14, differentiation decayed very rapidly at increasing distances from the centromere, but on the X chromosome distinct islands of differentiation encompassing several megabases were observed both at the centromeric region and along the chromosome arms. These findings support the idea that the X chromosome plays an important role in reproductive isolation between rabbit subspecies. These results also demonstrate the mosaic nature of the genome at species boundaries.
    Evolution 12/2010; 64(12):3443-60. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human Y chromosome consists of ampliconic genes, which are located in palindromes and undergo frequent gene conversion, and single-copy genes including the primary sex-determining locus, SRY. Here, we demonstrate that SRY is duplicated in a large palindrome in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Furthermore, we show through comparative sequencing that orthologous palindrome arms have diverged 0.40% between rabbit subspecies over at least 2 My, but paralogous palindrome arms have remained nearly identical. This provides clear evidence of gene conversion on the rabbit Y chromosome. Together with previous observations in humans, these results suggest that gene conversion is a general feature of the evolution of the mammalian Y chromosome.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 11/2010; 27(11):2437-40. · 10.35 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
649.63 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2013
    • University of Porto
      • Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO)
      Oporto, Porto, Portugal
  • 1997–2013
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      Tucson, AZ, United States
  • 2011–2012
    • Charles University in Prague
      • Katedra zoologie (PF)
      Praha, Hlavni mesto Praha, Czech Republic
    • University of Southern California
      • Division of Molecular and Computational Biology
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Michigan
      • • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • • Museum of Zoology
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Nebraska at Lincoln
      • Department of Biological Sciences
      Lincoln, NE, United States
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Ecology & Evolution
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 2006
    • Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2004
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
      Berkeley, CA, United States
  • 1999
    • Butler University
      • Department of Biological Sciences
      Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • 1994–1996
    • Cornell University
      Ithaca, New York, United States