Species-specific shifts in centromere sequence composition are coincident with breakpoint reuse in karyotypically divergent lineages

Kira V. Bulazel, Gianni C. Ferreri, Mark D B Eldridge, Rachel J. O'Neill*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Background: It has been hypothesized that rapid divergence in centromere sequences accompanies rapid karyotypic change during speciation. However, the reuse of breakpoints coincident with centromeres in the evolution of divergent karyotypes poses a potential paradox. In distantly related species where the same centromere breakpoints are used in the independent derivation of karyotypes, centromere-specific sequences may undergo convergent evolution rather than rapid sequence divergence. To determine whether centromere sequence composition follows the phylogenetic history of species evolution or patterns of convergent breakpoint reuse through chromosome evolution, we examined the phylogenetic trajectory of centromere sequences within a group of karyotypically diverse mammals, macropodine marsupials (wallabies, wallaroos and kangaroos). Results: The evolution of three classes of centromere sequences across nine species within the genus Macropus (including Wallabia) were compared with the phylogenetic history of a mitochondrial gene, Cytochrome b (Cyt b), a nuclear gene, selenocysteine tRNA (TRSP), and the chromosomal histories of the syntenic blocks that define the different karyotype arrangements. Convergent contraction or expansion of predominant satellites is found to accompany specific karyotype rearrangements. The phylogenetic history of these centromere sequences includes the convergence of centromere composition in divergent species through convergent breakpoint reuse between syntenic blocks. Conclusion: These data support the 'library hypothesis' of centromere evolution within this genus as each species possesses all three satellites yet each species has experienced differential expansion and contraction of individual classes. Thus, we have identified a correlation between the evolution of centromere satellite sequences, the reuse of syntenic breakpoints, and karyotype convergence in the context of a gene-based phylogeny.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberR170
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalGenome Biology
    Volume8
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2007

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2007 Bulazel et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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