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Satellite DNA as a driver of population divergence in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum

Feliciello, Isidoro; Akrap, Ivana; Brajković, Josip; Zlatar, Ivo; Ugarković, Đurđica (2014) Satellite DNA as a driver of population divergence in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Genome Biology and Evolution, 7 (1). pp. 228-239. ISSN 1759-6653

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Tandemly repeated satellite DNAs are among most rapidly evolving sequences in eukaryotic genome, usually differing significantly among closely related species. By inducing changes in heterochromatin and/or centromere, satellite DNAs are expected to drive population and species divergence. However, despite high evolutionary dynamics, divergence of satellite DNA profiles at the level of natural population which precedes and possibly triggers speciation process is not readily detected. Here we characterize minor TCAST2 satellite DNA of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum and follow its dynamics among wild-type strains originating from diverse geographic locations. The investigation revealed presence of three distinct subfamilies of TCAST2 satellite DNA which differ in monomer size, genome organization and subfamily-specific mutations. Subfamilies Tcast2a and Tcast2b are tandemly arranged within pericentromeric heterochromatin while Tcast2c is preferentially dispersed within euchromatin of all chromosomes. Among strains, TCAST2 subfamilies are conserved in sequence but exhibit a significant content variability. This results in overrepresentation or almost complete absence of particular subfamily in some strains and enables discrimination between strains. It is proposed that homologous recombination, probably stimulated by environmental stress, is responsible for the emergence of TCAST2 satellite subfamilies, their copy number variation and dispersion within genome. The results represent the first evidence for the existence of population-specific satellite DNA profiles. Partial organization of TCAST2 satellite DNA in the form of single repeats dispersed within euchromatin additionally contributes to the genome divergence at the population level.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: satellite DNA; repetitive DNA; genome evolution; heterochromatin; population divergence; Tribolium castaneum
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Division of Molecular Biology
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Evolucija i funkcija brzo evoluirajućeg dijela eukariotskog genomaĐurđica Ugarković098-0982913-2832MZOS
Depositing User: Đurđica Ugarković
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 14:00
DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evu280

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