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Elife. 2018 Jul 25;7. pii: e35684. doi: 10.7554/eLife.35684.

Evolution of gene dosage on the Z-chromosome of schistosome parasites.

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Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg, Austria.
University of Perpignan Via Domitia, IHPE UMR 5244, CNRS, IFREMER, University Montpellier, Perpignan, France.
Université Grenoble Alpes, CEA, Inserm, BIG-BGE, Grenoble, France.
Institute for Parasitology, Biomedical Research Center Seltersberg, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany.


XY systems usually show chromosome-wide compensation of X-linked genes, while in many ZW systems, compensation is restricted to a minority of dosage-sensitive genes. Why such differences arose is still unclear. Here, we combine comparative genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics to obtain a complete overview of the evolution of gene dosage on the Z-chromosome of Schistosoma parasites. We compare the Z-chromosome gene content of African (Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium) and Asian (S. japonicum) schistosomes and describe lineage-specific evolutionary strata. We use these to assess gene expression evolution following sex-linkage. The resulting patterns suggest a reduction in expression of Z-linked genes in females, combined with upregulation of the Z in both sexes, in line with the first step of Ohno's classic model of dosage compensation evolution. Quantitative proteomics suggest that post-transcriptional mechanisms do not play a major role in balancing the expression of Z-linked genes.


dosage compensation; evolutionary biology; genetics; genomics; schistosome; sex chromosome evolution

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