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Nat Genet. 2012 Jan 29;44(3):285-90. doi: 10.1038/ng.1050.

Chromosome-scale selective sweeps shape Caenorhabditis elegans genomic diversity.

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1
Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA.

Abstract

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is central to research in molecular, cell and developmental biology, but nearly all of this research has been conducted on a single strain of C. elegans. Little is known about the population genomic and evolutionary history of this species. We characterized C. elegans genetic variation using high-throughput selective sequencing of a worldwide collection of 200 wild strains and identified 41,188 SNPs. Notably, C. elegans genome variation is dominated by a set of commonly shared haplotypes on four of its six chromosomes, each spanning many megabases. Population genetic modeling showed that this pattern was generated by chromosome-scale selective sweeps that have reduced variation worldwide; at least one of these sweeps probably occurred in the last few hundred years. These sweeps, which we hypothesize to be a result of human activity, have drastically reshaped the global C. elegans population in the recent past.

PMID:
22286215
PMCID:
PMC3365839
DOI:
10.1038/ng.1050
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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