Gene copy number variations as signatures of adaptive evolution in the parthenogenetic, plant-parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita.

08:00 EDT 9th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Gene copy number variations as signatures of adaptive evolution in the parthenogenetic, plant-parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita."

Adaptation to changing environmental conditions represents a challenge to parthenogenetic organisms and until now, how phenotypic variants are generated in clones in response to the selection pressure of their environment remains poorly known. The obligatory parthenogenetic root-knot nematode species Meloidogyne incognita has a worldwide distribution and is the most devastating plant-parasitic nematode. Despite its asexual reproduction, this species exhibits an unexpected capacity of adaptation to environmental constraints, e.g., resistant hosts. Here we used a genome-wide comparative hybridization strategy to evaluate variations in gene copy numbers between genotypes of M. incognita resulting from two parallel experimental evolution assays on a susceptible vs. resistant host plant. We detected gene copy number variations (CNVs) associated with the ability of the nematodes to overcome resistance of the host plant, and this genetic variation may reflect an adaptive response to host resistance in this parthenogenetic species. The CNV distribution throughout the nematode genome is not random and suggests the occurrence of genomic regions more prone to undergo duplications and losses in response to the selection pressure of the host resistance. Furthermore, our analysis revealed an outstanding level of gene loss events in nematode genotypes that have overcome the resistance. Overall, our results support the view that gene loss could be a common class of adaptive genetic mechanism in response to a challenging new biotic environment in clonal animals. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


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Name: Molecular ecology
ISSN: 1365-294X


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Stretches of genomic DNA that exist in different multiples between individuals. Many copy number variations have been associated with susceptibility or resistance to disease.

A copy number variation that results in reduced GENE DOSAGE due to any loss-of-function mutation. The loss of heterozygosity is associated with abnormal phenotypes or diseased states because the remaining gene is insufficient.

A selective increase in the number of copies of a gene coding for a specific protein without a proportional increase in other genes. It occurs naturally via the excision of a copy of the repeating sequence from the chromosome and its extrachromosomal replication in a plasmid, or via the production of an RNA transcript of the entire repeating sequence of ribosomal RNA followed by the reverse transcription of the molecule to produce an additional copy of the original DNA sequence. Laboratory techniques have been introduced for inducing disproportional replication by unequal crossing over, uptake of DNA from lysed cells, or generation of extrachromosomal sequences from rolling circle replication.

Compositions written by hand, as one written before the invention or adoption of printing. A manuscript may also refer to a handwritten copy of an ancient author. A manuscript may be handwritten or typewritten as distinguished from a printed copy, especially the copy of a writer's work from which printed copies are made. (Webster, 3d ed)

The number of copies of a given gene present in the cell of an organism. An increase in gene dosage (by GENE DUPLICATION for example) can result in higher levels of gene product formation. GENE DOSAGE COMPENSATION mechanisms result in adjustments to the level GENE EXPRESSION when there are changes or differences in gene dosage.

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