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Microsporidia with vertical transmission were likely shaped by nonadaptive processes.

07:00 EST 11th December 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Microsporidia with vertical transmission were likely shaped by nonadaptive processes."

Microsporidia have the leanest genomes among eukaryotes, and their physiological and genomic simplicity has been attributed to their intracellular, obligate parasitic lifestyle. However, not all microsporidia genomes are small or lean, with the largest dwarfing the smallest ones by at least an order of magnitude. To better understand the evolutionary mechanisms behind this genomic diversification, we explore here two clades of microsporidia with distinct life histories, Ordospora and Hamiltosporidium, parasitizing the same host species, Daphnia magna. Based on seven newly assembled genomes, we show that mixed-mode transmission (the combination of horizontal and vertical transmission), which occurs in Hamiltosporidium, is found to be associated with larger and AT-biased genomes, more genes and longer intergenic regions, as compared to the exclusively horizontally transmitted Ordospora. Furthermore, the Hamiltosporidium genome assemblies contain a variety of repetitive elements and long segmental duplications. We show that there is an excess of non-synonymous substitutions in the microsporidia with mixed-mode transmission, which cannot be solely attributed to the lack of recombination, suggesting that bursts of genome size in these microsporidia result primarily from genetic drift. Overall, these findings suggest that the switch from a horizontal-only to a mixed mode of transmission likely produces population bottlenecks in Hamiltosporidium species, therefore reducing the effectiveness of natural selection, and allowing their genomic features to be largely shaped by nonadaptive processes.

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Name: Genome biology and evolution
ISSN: 1759-6653
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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

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The expelling of virus particles from the body. Important routes include the respiratory tract, genital tract, and intestinal tract. Virus shedding is an important means of vertical transmission (INFECTIOUS DISEASE TRANSMISSION, VERTICAL).

The transmission of infectious disease or pathogens from one generation to another. It includes transmission in utero or intrapartum by exposure to blood and secretions, and postpartum exposure via breastfeeding.

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