Homeologue-specific expression divergence in the recently formed tetraploid Capsella bursa-pastoris (Brassicaceae)

New Phytol. 2018 Oct;220(2):624-635. doi: 10.1111/nph.15299. Epub 2018 Jul 20.


Following allopolyploid formation, extensive genome evolution occurs, with the eventual loss of many homeologous gene copies. Although this process of diploidization has occurred many times independently, the evolutionary forces determining the probability and rate of gene loss remain poorly understood. Here, we conduct genome and transcriptome sequencing in a broad sample of Chinese accessions of Capsella bursa-pastoris, a recently formed allotetraploid. Our whole genome data reveal three groups of these accessions: an Eastern group from low-altitude regions, a Western group from high-altitude regions, and a much more differentiated Northwestern group. Population differentiation in total expression was limited among closely related populations; by contrast, the relative expression of the two homeologous copies closely mirrors the genome-wide SNP divergence. Consistent with this, we observe a negative correlation between expression changes in the two homeologues. However, genes showing population genomic evidence for adaptive evolution do not show an enrichment for expression divergence between homeologues, providing no clear evidence for adaptive shifts in relative gene expression. Overall, these patterns suggest that neutral drift may contribute to the population differentiation in the expression of the homeologues, and drive eventual gene loss over longer periods of time.

Keywords: duplication; homeologue-specific expression; neutral drift; polyploid; population structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Capsella / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genome, Plant
  • Geography
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Tetraploidy*

Associated data

  • GENBANK/SRR6179226
  • GENBANK/SRR6179253
  • GENBANK/SRR6214506
  • GENBANK/SRR6214532
  • GENBANK/SRR6227293
  • GENBANK/SRR6227300