Accelerated evolution of sex chromosomes in aphids, an X0 system. - Inria - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique Access content directly
Journal Articles Molecular Biology and Evolution Year : 2012

Accelerated evolution of sex chromosomes in aphids, an X0 system.


Sex chromosomes play a role in many important biological processes, including sex determination, genomic conflicts, imprinting and speciation. In particular, they exhibit several unusual properties such as inheritance pattern, hemizygosity and reduced recombination, which influence their response to evolutionary factors (e.g. drift, selection, demography). Here, we examine the evolutionary forces driving X chromosome evolution in aphids, an XO system where females are homozygous (XX) and males hemizygous (X0) at sex chromosomes. We show by simulations that the unusual mode of transmission of the X chromosome in aphids coupled to cyclical parthenogenesis results in similar effective population sizes and predicted levels of genetic diversity for X chromosomes and autosomes under neutral evolution. These results contrast with expectations from standard XX/XY or XX/X0 systems (where the effective population size of the X is 3/4 of that of autosomes) and have deep consequences for aphid X chromosome evolution. We then localized 52 microsatellites markers on the X and 351 on autosomes. We genotyped 167 individuals with 356 of these loci and found similar levels of allelic richness on the X and on the autosomes, as predicted by our simulations. In contrast, we detected higher dN and dN/dS ratio for X-linked genes compared to autosomal genes, a pattern compatible with either positive or relaxed selection. Given that both types of chromosomes have similar effective population sizes and that the single copy of the X chromosome of male aphids exposes its recessive genes to selection, some degree of positive selection seems to best explain the higher rates of evolution of X-linked genes. Overall, this study highlights the particular relevance of aphids to study the evolutionary factors driving sex chromosomes and genome evolution.

Dates and versions

hal-00639983 , version 1 (10-11-2011)



Julie Jaquiéry, Solenn Stoeckel, Claude Rispe, Lucie Mieuzet, Fabrice Legeai, et al.. Accelerated evolution of sex chromosomes in aphids, an X0 system.. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2012, 29 (2), epub ahead of print. ⟨10.1093/molbev/msr252⟩. ⟨hal-00639983⟩
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