No evidence that sex and transposable elements drive genome size variation in evening primroses

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J Arvid AgrenStephen I Wright

Abstract

Genome size varies dramatically across species, but despite an abundance of attention there is little agreement on the relative contributions of selective and neutral processes in governing this variation. The rate of sexual reproduction can potentially play an important role in genome size evolution because of its effect on the efficacy of selection and transmission of transposable elements. Here, we used a phylogenetic comparative approach and whole genome sequencing to investigate the contribution of sex and transposable element content to genome size variation in the evening primrose ( Oenothera ) genus. We determined genome size using flow cytometry from 30 Oenothera species of varying reproductive system and find that variation in sexual/asexual reproduction cannot explain the almost two-fold variation in genome size. Moreover, using whole genome sequences of three species of varying genome sizes and reproductive system, we found that genome size was not associated with transposable element abundance; instead the larger genomes had a higher abundance of simple sequence repeats. Although it has long been clear that sexual reproduction may affect various aspects of genome evolution in general and transposable element evolut...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Attention
DNA Transposable Elements
Biological Evolution
Flow Cytometry
Genome
Reproduction, Asexual
Disease Transmission
Size
Sexual Reproduction
Evening primrose extract

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