Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Size and Content of the Sex-Determining Region of the Y Chromosome in Dioecious Mercurialis annua, a Plant with Homomorphic Sex Chromosomes

Version 1 : Received: 10 April 2018 / Approved: 10 April 2018 / Online: 10 April 2018 (10:49:41 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Veltsos, P.; Cossard, G.; Beaudoing, E.; Beydon, G.; Savova Bianchi, D.; Roux, C.; C. González-Martínez, S.; R. Pannell, J. Size and Content of the Sex-Determining Region of the Y Chromosome in Dioecious Mercurialis annua, a Plant with Homomorphic Sex Chromosomes. Genes 2018, 9, 277. Veltsos, P.; Cossard, G.; Beaudoing, E.; Beydon, G.; Savova Bianchi, D.; Roux, C.; C. González-Martínez, S.; R. Pannell, J. Size and Content of the Sex-Determining Region of the Y Chromosome in Dioecious Mercurialis annua, a Plant with Homomorphic Sex Chromosomes. Genes 2018, 9, 277.

Journal reference: Genes 2018, 9, 277
DOI: 10.3390/genes9060277

Abstract

Many dioecious plants have sex chromosomes that are cytologically heteromorphic, but about half of species lack cytological differences between males and females and are thus homomorphic. Very little is known about the size and content of the non-recombining sex-determining region (SDR) in these species. Here, we assess the size and content of the SDR of the diploid dioecious herb Mercurialis annua, which has homomorphic sex chromosomes and shows signatures of mild Y-chromosome degeneration. We used RNAseq to identify new Y-linked markers for M. annua. Twelve of 24 transcripts with male-specific and male-biased expression could only be PCR-amplified from males and are thus Y-linked. We found a further six Y-linked sequences that were present in males but not females using genome capture data from multiple populations. We used the Y-linked sequences to identify and sequence 17 sex-linked bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs), which form 11 groups of non-overlapping sequence, covering a total sequence length of about 1.5 Mb. Content analysis of this region suggests it is enriched for repeats, has a low gene density and contains few candidate sex-determining genes. The BACs map to a subset of the sex-linked region of the genetic map, which is estimated to be at least 14.5 Mb. This is substantially larger than estimates for other dioecious plants with homomorphic sex chromosomes, especially given the small genome size of M. annua. Our data provide a rare, high-resolution view of the homomorphic Y chromosome of a dioecious plant.

Subject Areas

bacterial artificial chromosomes; RNAseq; genetic map; transposable element; gene density

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