Hybrid Genome Evolution by Transposition: An Update

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Abstract

© The American Genetic Association 2018. Contrary to the view that hybrids are lineages devoid of evolutionary value, a number of case studies that have been lately reported show how hybrids are at the origin of many species. Some well-documented cases demonstrate that bursts of transposition often follow hybridization, generating new genetic variability. Studies in hybrid transposition strongly suggest that epigenetic changes and divergence in piRNA pathways drive deregulation in TE landscapes. Here, I have focused on mechanisms acting in Drosophila hybrids between two cactophilic species. The results reported here show that while hybrid instability by transposition is a genome-wide event, deregulation by TE overexpression in hybrid ovaries is not a general rule. When piRNA pools of ovaries are studied, results show that TEs with parental differences higher than 2-fold in their piRNA amounts are not more commonly deregulated in hybrids than TEs with similar levels, partially discrediting the generality of the maternal cytotype hypothesis. Some promising results on the piRNA pathway global failure hypothesis, which states that accumulated divergence of piRNA effector proteins is responsible for hybrid TE deregulation, have also been obtained. Altogether, these results suggest that TE deregulation might be driven by several interacting mechanisms. A natural scenario is proposed in which genome instability by transposition leads to hybrid genome reorganization. Small hybrid populations, subjected to natural selection helped by genetic drift, evolve new adaptations adapted to novel environments. The final step is either introgression or even a new hybrid species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-136
JournalJournal of Heredity
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Drosophila hybrids
  • genetic instability
  • misregulation
  • piRNA
  • speciation
  • Transposable elements

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