Comparative genomics of bdelloid rotifers: insights from desiccating and nondesiccating species

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Title: Comparative genomics of bdelloid rotifers: insights from desiccating and nondesiccating species
Author(s): Barraclough, TG
Nowell, R
Wilson, C
Smith, T
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Bdelloid rotifers are a Class of microscopic invertebrates that have existed for millions of years apparently without sex or meiosis. They inhabit a variety of temporary and permanent freshwater habitats globally, and many species are remarkably tolerant of desiccation. Bdelloids offer an opportunity to better understand the evolution of sex and recombination, but previous work has emphasized desiccation as the cause of severa l unusual genomic features in this group. Here, we present high -quality whole genome sequences of three bdelloid species: Rotaria macrura and Rotaria magnacalcarata, which are both desiccation intolerant, and Adineta ricciae , which is desiccation tolerant. In combination with the published assembly of Adineta vaga , which is also desiccation tolerant, we apply a comparative genomics approach to evaluate the potential effects of desiccation tolerance and asexuality on genome evolution in bdelloids. We find that ancestral tetraploidy is conserved among all four bdelloid species, but homologous divergence in obligately aquatic Rotaria genomes is unexpectedly low. This finding is contrary to current models regarding the role of desiccation in shaping bdelloid gen omes. In addition, we find that homologous regions in A. ricciae are largely collinear and do not form palindromic repeats as observed in the published A. vaga assembly. Consequently, several features interpreted as genomic evidence for long -term ameiotic evolution are not general to all bdelloid species, even within the same genus. Finally, we substantiate previous 50 findings of high levels of horizontally transferred non -metazoan genes in both desiccating and non - desiccating bdelloid species, and show that this unusual feature is not shared by other animal phyla, even those with desiccation -tolerant representatives. These comparisons call into question the proposed role of desiccation in mediating horizontal genetic transfer
Publication Date: 24-Apr-2018
Date of Acceptance: 20-Feb-2018
ISSN: 1544-9173
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Journal / Book Title: PLoS Biology
Copyright Statement: This paper is embargoed until publication. Once published it will be available fully open access.
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/M01651X/1
Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Developmental Biology
Publication Status: Accepted
Embargo Date: publication subject to indefinite embargo
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences

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