Between-species differences in gene copy number are enriched among functions critical for adaptive evolution in Arabidopsis halleri

BMC Genomics
Vasantika SuryawanshiUte Krämer


Gene copy number divergence between species is a form of genetic polymorphism that contributes significantly to both genome size and phenotypic variation. In plants, copy number expansions of single genes were implicated in cultivar- or species-specific tolerance of high levels of soil boron, aluminium or calamine-type heavy metals, respectively. Arabidopsis halleri is a zinc- and cadmium-hyperaccumulating extremophile species capable of growing on heavy-metal contaminated, toxic soils. In contrast, its non-accumulating sister species A. lyrata and the closely related reference model species A. thaliana exhibit merely basal metal tolerance. For a genome-wide assessment of the role of copy number divergence (CND) in lineage-specific environmental adaptation, we conducted cross-species array comparative genome hybridizations of three plant species and developed a global signal scaling procedure to adjust for sequence divergence. In A. halleri, transition metal homeostasis functions are enriched twofold among the genes detected as copy number expanded. Moreover, biotic stress functions including mostly disease Resistance (R) gene-related genes are enriched twofold among genes detected as copy number reduced, when compared to the a...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned


Software Mentioned

Limma package
Harshlight package
Ensembl Plants

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