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Rapid evolution of female-biased genes among four species of Anopheles malaria mosquitoes

Papa, Francesco
Windbichler, Nikolai
Cagnetti, Alessia
D'Amato, Rocco
Persampieri, Tania
Lawniczak, Mara K N
Nolan, Tony
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Published in Genome Research. 2017, vol. 27, no. 9, p. 1536-1548
Abstract Understanding how phenotypic differences between males and females arise from the sex-biased expression of nearly identical genomes can reveal important insights into the biology and evolution of a species. Among Anopheles mosquito species, these phenotypic differences include vectorial capacity, as it is only females that blood feed and thus transmit human malaria. Here, we use RNA-seq data from multiple tissues of four vector species spanning the Anopheles phylogeny to explore the genomic and evolutionary properties of sex-biased genes. We find that, in these mosquitoes, in contrast to what has been found in many other organisms, female-biased genes are more rapidly evolving in sequence, expression, and genic turnover than male-biased genes. Our results suggest that this atypical pattern may be due to the combination of sex-specific life history challenges encountered by females, such as blood feeding. Furthermore, female propensity to mate only once in nature in male swarms likely diminishes sexual selection of post-reproductive traits related to sperm competition among males. We also develop a comparative framework to systematically explore tissue- and sex-specific splicing to document its conservation throughout the genus and identify a set of candidate genes for future functional analyses of sex-specific isoform usage. Finally, our data reveal that the deficit of male-biased genes on the X Chromosomes in Anopheles is a conserved feature in this genus and can be directly attributed to chromosome-wide transcriptional regulation that de-masculinizes the X in male reproductive tissues.
PMID: 28747381
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Research group Génomique Evolutionnaire Computationnelle (830)
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PAPA, Francesco et al. Rapid evolution of female-biased genes among four species of Anopheles malaria mosquitoes. In: Genome Research, 2017, vol. 27, n° 9, p. 1536-1548. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:98730

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Deposited on : 2017-11-08

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