Inventory and Phylogenetic Analysis of Meiotic Genes in Monogonont Rotifers Journal Article


Authors: Hanson, Sara J.; Schurko, Andrew M.; Hecox-Lea, Bette; Mark Welch, David B.; Stelzer, Claus-Peter; Logsdon, John M.
Article Title: Inventory and Phylogenetic Analysis of Meiotic Genes in Monogonont Rotifers
Abstract: A long-standing question in evolutionary biology is how sexual reproduction has persisted in eukaryotic lineages. As cyclical parthenogens, monogonont rotifers are a powerful model for examining this question, yet the molecular nature of sexual reproduction in this lineage is currently understudied. To examine genes involved in meiosis, we generated partial genome assemblies for 2 distantly related monogonont species, Brachionus calyciflorus and B. manjavacas. Here we present an inventory of 89 meiotic genes, of which 80 homologs were identified and annotated from these assemblies. Using phylogenetic analysis, we show that several meiotic genes have undergone relatively recent duplication events that appear to be specific to the monogonont lineage. Further, we compare the expression of “meiosis-specific” genes involved in recombination and all annotated copies of the cell cycle regulatory gene CDC20 between obligate parthenogenetic (OP) and cyclical parthenogenetic (CP) strains of B. calyciflorus. We show that “meiosis-specific” genes are expressed in both CP and OP strains, whereas the expression of one of the CDC20 genes is specific to cyclical parthenogenesis. The data presented here provide insights into mechanisms of cyclical parthenogenesis and establish expectations for studies of obligate asexual relatives of monogononts, the bdelloid rotifer lineage.
Journal Title: Journal of Heredity
Volume: 104
Issue: 3
ISSN: 0022-1503
Publisher: Oxford University Press  
Date Published: 2013
Start Page: 357
End Page: 370
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