Replaying the evolutionary tape to investigate subgenome dominance in allopolyploid Brassica napus
Interspecific hybridization and allopolyploidization merges evolutionarily distinct parental genomes (subgenomes) into a single nucleus. A frequent observation is that one subgenome is “dominant” over the other subgenome, having a greater number of reatined duplicate genes and being more highly expressed. Which subgenome becomes dominantly expressed in allopolyploids remains poorly understood. Here we “replayed the evolutionary tape” with six isogenic resynthesized Brassica napus (rapeseed) allopolyploid lines and investigated subgenome dominance patterns over the first ten generations. We found that the same subgenome was consistently more dominantly expressed in all lines and generations. Furthermore, DNA methylation differences between subgenomes mirrored the observed gene expression bias towards the Brassica oleracea derived ‘C’ subgenome in all lines and generations. These differences in gene expression and methylation were also found when comparing the progenitor genomes, suggesting subgenome dominance is related to inherited parental genome differences rather than a byproduct of allopolyploidization. Gene network analyses indicated an enrichment for network interactions and several biological functions for ‘C’ subgenome biased pairs, but no enrichment was observed for ‘A’ subgenome biased pairs. These findings demonstrate that “replaying the evolutionary tape” in allopolyploids results in repeatable and predictable subgenome expression dominance patterns based on preexisting genetic differences among the parental species. These findings have major implications regarding the genotypic and phenotypic diversity observed following plant hybridization in both ecological and agricultural contexts.
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