DOI: 10.1101/518654Jan 11, 2019Paper

Evolution of asymmetric gamete signalling and suppressed recombination at the mating type locus

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Zena Hadjivasiliou, Andrew Pomiankowski

Abstract

The two partners required for sexual reproduction are rarely the same. This pattern extends to species which lack sexual dimorphism yet possess self incompatible gametes determined at mating type regions of suppressed recombination, likely precursors of sex chromosomes. In this work we investigate the role of cellular signaling in the evolution of mating types. We develop a model of ligand and receptor dynamics in individual cells, and identify key factors that determine the capacity of cells to send and receive signals. The model identifies the conditions that lead to the evolution of gametes that produce ligand and receptor in an asymmetric manner and shows how these are affected by recombination. Given that the recombination rate can evolve, the same conditions that favor asymmetric signaling also favor tight linkage of ligand and receptor loci in distinct linkage groups. These results suggest that selection for asymmetric signaling between gametes was the first step in the evolution of non-recombinant mating type loci, paving the road for the evolution of anisogamy and sexes.

Related Concepts

Chromosomes
Biological Evolution
Germ Cells
Ligands
Recombination, Genetic
Signal Transduction
Receptor
Sexual Dimorphism
Genetic Loci
Sexual Reproduction

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