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De Maio N.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Kosiol C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2013

The genomes of related species contain valuable information on the history of the considered taxa. Great apes in particular exhibit variation of evolutionary patterns along their genomes. However, the great ape data also bring new challenges, such as the presence of incomplete lineage sorting and ancestral shared polymorphisms. Previousmethods for genome-scale analysis are restricted to very few individuals or cannot disentangle the contribution of mutation rates and fixation biases. This represents a limitation both for the understanding of these forces as well as for the detection of regions affected by selection. Here, we present a new model designed to estimate mutation rates and fixation biases from genetic variation within and between species. We relax the assumption of instantaneous substitutions, modeling substitutions as mutational events followed by a gradual fixation. Hence, we straightforwardly account for shared ancestral polymorphisms and incomplete lineage sorting. We analyze genome-wide synonymous site alignments of human, chimpanzee, and two orangutan species. From each taxon, we include data from several individuals. We estimate mutation rates and GC-biased gene conversion intensity. We find that both mutation rates and biased gene conversion vary with GC content. We also find lineage-specific differences, with weaker fixation biases in orangutan species, suggesting a reduced historical effective population size. Finally, our results are consistent with directional selection acting on coding sequences in relation to exonic splicing enhancers. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved.


Kalinka A.T.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution | Year: 2015

The roots of modern evo-devo can be traced back to the comparative anatomy of the 19th century. Inheriting from this tradition, the field has maintained a mechanistic approach to understanding the origins of distinct animal morphologies. While this focus has produced a valuable body of work, we argue here that a fuller understanding of why species diverge morphologically must be centered on the selective forces driving divergence, and these forces ultimately reside in the ecological context in which organisms live and reproduce. We discuss reasons why we expect many morphological novelties to evolve largely secondarily to, and often as a by-product of, primary selection on life-history traits. By shifting the focus to proximate evolutionary causes, our perspective necessarily prioritises selection experiments as a means of empirical testing. We outline experimental approaches designed to dissect the role of ecological variables in the evolution of animal development and morphology, and we show how methods and advances in fields as diverse as population genomics and ecological stoichiometry can contribute to progress in this direction. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2015

Although considered an extremely unlikely event, many genes emerge from previously noncoding genomic regions. This review covers the entire life cycle of such de novo genes. Two competing hypotheses about the process of de novo gene birth are discussed as well as the high death rate of de novo genes. Despite the high death rate, some de novo genes are retained and remain functional, even in distantly related species, through their integration into gene networks. Further studies combining gene expression with ribosome profiling in multiple populations across different species will be instrumental for an improved understanding of the evolutionary processes operating on de novo genes. © 2015 The Author.


Kofler R.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Betancourt A.J.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2012

Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic elements that parasitize genomes by semi-autonomously increasing their own copy number within the host genome. While TEs are important for genome evolution, appropriate methods for performing unbiased genome-wide surveys of TE variation in natural populations have been lacking. Here, we describe a novel and cost-effective approach for estimating population frequencies of TE insertions using paired-end Illumina reads from a pooled population sample. Importantly, the method treats insertions present in and absent from the reference genome identically, allowing unbiased TE population frequency estimates. We apply this method to data from a natural Drosophila melanogaster population from Portugal. Consistent with previous reports, we show that low recombining genomic regions harbor more TE insertions and maintain insertions at higher frequencies than do high recombining regions. We conservatively estimate that there are almost twice as many "novel" TE insertion sites as sites known from the reference sequence in our population sample (6,824 novel versus 3,639 reference sites, with on average a 31-fold coverage per insertion site). Different families of transposable elements show large differences in their insertion densities and population frequencies. Our analyses suggest that the history of TE activity significantly contributes to this pattern, with recently active families segregating at lower frequencies than those active in the more distant past. Finally, using our high-resolution TE abundance measurements, we identified 13 candidate positively selected TE insertions based on their high population frequencies and on low Tajima's D values in their neighborhoods. © 2012 Kofler et al.


Kofler R.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
Bioinformatics | Year: 2012

Summary: An analysis of gene set [e.g. Gene Ontology (GO)] enrichment assumes that all genes are sampled independently from each other with the same probability. These assumptions are violated in genome-wide association (GWA) studies since (i) longer genes typically have more single-nucleotide polymorphisms resulting in a higher probability of being sampled and (ii) overlapping genes are sampled in clusters. Herein, we introduce Gowinda, a software specifically designed to test for enrichment of gene sets in GWA studies. We show that GO tests on GWA data could result in a substantial number of false-positive GO terms. Permutation tests implemented in Gowinda eliminate these biases, but maintain sufficient power to detect enrichment of GO terms. Since sufficient resolution for large datasets requires millions of permutations, we use multi-threading to keep computation times reasonable. © The Author(s) 2012. Published by Oxford University Press.


Palmieri N.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Kosiol C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
eLife | Year: 2014

Orphans are genes restricted to a single phylogenetic lineage and emerge at high rates. While this predicts an accumulation of genes, the gene number has remained remarkably constant through evolution. This paradox has not yet been resolved. Because orphan genes have been mainly analyzed over long evolutionary time scales, orphan loss has remained unexplored. Here we study the patterns of orphan turnover among close relatives in the Drosophila obscura group. We show that orphans are not only emerging at a high rate, but that they are also rapidly lost. Interestingly, recently emerged orphans are more likely to be lost than older ones. Furthermore, highly expressed orphans with a strong male-bias are more likely to be retained. Since both lost and retained orphans show similar evolutionary signatures of functional conservation, we propose that orphan loss is not driven by high rates of sequence evolution, but reflects lineage-specific functional requirements. © Palmieri et al.


Kofler R.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2014

Standing genetic variation provides a rich reservoir of potentially useful mutations facilitating the adaptation to novel environments. Experimental evolution studies have demonstrated that rapid and strong phenotypic responses to selection can also be obtained in the laboratory. When combined with the next-generation sequencing technology, these experiments promise to identify the individual loci contributing to adaption. Nevertheless, until now, very little is known about the design of such evolve & resequencing (E&R) studies. Here, we use forward simulations of entire genomes to evaluate different experimental designs that aim to maximize the power to detect selected variants. We show that low linkage disequilibrium in the starting population, population size, duration of the experiment, and the number of replicates are the key factors in determining the power and accuracy of E&R studies. Furthermore, replication of E&R is more important for detecting the targets of selection than increasing the population size. Using an optimized design, beneficial loci with a selective advantage as low as s = 0.005 can be identified at the nucleotide level. Even when a large number of loci are selected simultaneously, up to 56% can be reliably detected without incurring large numbers of false positives. Our computer simulations suggest that, with an adequate experimental design, E&R studies are a powerful tool to identify adaptive mutations from standing genetic variation and thereby provide an excellent means to analyze the trajectories of selected alleles in evolving populations. © 2013 The Author.


Nolte V.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Pandey R.V.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Kofler R.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
Genome Research | Year: 2013

Although it is well understood that selection shapes the polymorphism pattern in Drosophila, signatures of classic selective sweeps are scarce. Here, we focus on Drosophila mauritiana, an island endemic, which is closely related to Drosophila melanogaster. Based on a new, annotated genome sequence, we characterized the genome-wide polymorphism by sequencing pooled individuals (Pool-seq). We show that the interplay between selection and recombination results in a genome-wide polymorphism pattern characteristic for D. mauritiana. Two large genomic regions (>500 kb) showed the signature of almost complete selective sweeps. We propose that the absence of population structure and limited geographic distribution could explain why such pronounced sweep patterns are restricted to D. mauritiana. Further evidence for strong adaptive evolution was detected for several nucleoporin genes, some of which were not previously identified as genes involved in genomic conflict. Since this adaptive evolution is continuing after the split of D. mauritiana and Drosophila simulans, we conclude that genomic conflict is not restricted to short episodes, but rather an ongoing process in Drosophila.


Kofler R.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Pandey R.V.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
Bioinformatics | Year: 2011

Sequencing pooled DNA samples (Pool-Seq) is the most cost-effective approach for the genome-wide comparison of population samples. Here, we introduce PoPoolation2, the first software tool specifically designed for the comparison of populations with Pool-Seq data. PoPoolation2 implements a range of commonly used measures of differentiation (F ST, Fisher's exact test and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test) that can be applied on different scales (windows, genes, exons, SNPs). The result may be visualized with the widely used Integrated Genomics Viewer. © The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press.


Schlotterer C.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Tobler R.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Kofler R.,Institute For Populationsgenetik | Nolte V.,Institute For Populationsgenetik
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2014

The analysis of polymorphism data is becoming increasingly important as a complementary tool to classical genetic analyses. Nevertheless, despite plunging sequencing costs, genomic sequencing of individuals at the population scale is still restricted to a few model species. Whole-genome sequencing of pools of individuals (Pool-seq) provides a cost-effective alternative to sequencing individuals separately. With the availability of custom-tailored software tools, Pool-seq is being increasingly used for population genomic research on both model and non-model organisms. In this Review, we not only demonstrate the breadth of questions that are being addressed by Pool-seq but also discuss its limitations and provide guidelines for users. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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