Population genomics of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe

PLoS One. 2014 Aug 11;9(8):e104241. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104241. eCollection 2014.


The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has been widely used as a model eukaryote to study a diverse range of biological processes. However, population genetic studies of this species have been limited to date, and we know very little about the evolutionary processes and selective pressures that are shaping its genome. Here, we sequenced the genomes of 32 worldwide S. pombe strains and examined the pattern of polymorphisms across their genomes. In addition to introns and untranslated regions (UTRs), intergenic regions also exhibited lower levels of nucleotide diversity than synonymous sites, suggesting that a considerable amount of noncoding DNA is under selective constraint and thus likely to be functional. A number of genomic regions showed a reduction of nucleotide diversity probably caused by selective sweeps. We also identified a region close to the end of chromosome 3 where an extremely high level of divergence was observed between 5 of the 32 strains and the remain 27, possibly due to introgression, strong positive selection, or that region being responsible for reproductive isolation. Our study should serve as an important starting point in using a population genomics approach to further elucidate the biology of this important model organism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Fungal / genetics
  • Metagenomics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*

Grant support

This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientic Research on Innovative Areas to T. K., K. O., J. N. and H. I. (23114001, 23114002, 23114003, 23114004, 23114005) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT). This work was also supported by Platform for Dynamic Approaches to Living System from MEXT. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.