Zygomycetes, microsporidia, and the evolutionary ancestry of sex determination

Genome Biology and Evolution
Tina Koestler, Ingo Ebersberger

Abstract

Zygomycetes and their alleged sister taxon, the microsporidia, exclusively share the presence of a cluster of three genes encoding a sugar transporter, a high mobility group (HMG)-type transcription factor, and an RNA helicase. In zygomycetes, the HMG-type transcription factor acts as the sole sex determinant. This intimately ties the evolutionary history of this gene cluster to the evolution of sex determination. Here, we have unraveled the relationships of the two gene clusters by vicariously analyzing the sugar transporters and the RNA helicases. We show that if the two gene clusters share a common ancestry, it dates back to the early days of eukaryotic evolution. As a consequence, the zygomycete MAT locus would be old enough to represent the archetype of fungal and animal sex determination. However, the evolutionary scenario that has to be invoked is complex. An independent assembly of the two clusters deserves therefore consideration. In either case, shared ancestry or convergent evolution, the presence of the gene cluster in microsporidia and in zygomycetes represents at best a plesiomorphy. Hence, it is not phylogenetically informative. A further genome-wide reanalysis of gene order conservation reveals that gene order i...Continue Reading

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Citations

Oct 5, 2011·Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia·Ruth N ZadoksYnte H Schukken
Nov 17, 2011·BMC Evolutionary Biology·Satoshi SekimotoMary L Berbee
Jun 2, 2012·BMC Biology·Salvador Capella-GutiérrezToni Gabaldón
Mar 22, 2014·Parasitology Research·Daniele CorsaroRolf Michel
Nov 25, 2011·Molecular Biology and Evolution·Ingo EbersbergerArndt von Haeseler
Nov 10, 2012·Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences·Maureen A O'Malley
May 5, 2012·Revista iberoamericana de micología·Griselda TorresFernando J Bornay-Llinares
Nov 28, 2012·Journal of Invertebrate Pathology·Xiaoqun DangZeyang Zhou

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Datasets Mentioned

BETA
ABX27908.1
ABX27910.1

Software Mentioned

pHMM
HMMER
RAxML
MAFFT
InParanoid
BlastP
Phylobayes
hmmbuild
BLAT
bpcomp

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