Genome-wide patterns of regulatory divergence revealed by introgression lines

Evolution. 2016 Mar;70(3):696-706. doi: 10.1111/evo.12875. Epub 2016 Feb 24.


Understanding the genetic basis for changes in transcriptional regulation is an important aspect of understanding phenotypic evolution. Using interspecific introgression lines, we infer the mechanisms of divergence in genome-wide patterns of gene expression between the nightshades Solanum pennellii and S. lycopersicum (domesticated tomato). We find that cis- and trans-regulatory changes have had qualitatively similar contributions to divergence in this clade, unlike results from other systems. Additionally, expression data from four tissues (shoot apex, ripe fruit, pollen, and seed) suggest that introgressed regions in these hybrid lines tend to be downregulated, while background (nonintrogressed) genes tend to be upregulated. Finally, we find no evidence for an association between the magnitude of differential expression in NILs and previously determined sterility phenotypes. Our results contradict previous predictions of the predominant role of cis- over trans-regulatory divergence between species, and do not support a major role for gross genome-wide misregulation in reproductive isolation between these species.

Keywords: Solanum lycopersicum; Solanum pennellii; cis-Regulation; gene expression, hybrid misregulation; trans-regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Plant Infertility
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional
  • Solanum / classification*
  • Solanum / genetics*
  • Transcriptome