Journal or Book Title
BMC Plant Biology
Centromeric DNA sequences alone are neither necessary nor sufficient for centromere specification. The centromere specific histone, CenH3, evolves rapidly in many species, perhaps as a coevolutionary response to rapidly evolving centromeric DNA. To gain insight into CenH3 evolution, we characterized patterns of nucleotide and protein diversity among diploids and allopolyploids within three diverse angiosperm genera, Brassica, Oryza, and Gossypium (cotton), with a focus on evidence for diversifying selection in the various domains of the CenH3 gene. In addition, we compare expression profiles and alternative splicing patterns for CenH3 in representatives of each genus. All three genera retain both duplicated CenH3 copies, while Brassica and Gossypium exhibit pronounced homoeologous expression level bias. Comparisons among genera reveal shared and unique aspects of CenH3 evolution, variable levels of diversifying selection in different CenH3 domains, and that alternative splicing contributes significantly to CenH3 diversity. Since the N terminus is subject to diversifying selection but the DNA binding domains do not appear to be, rapidly evolving centromere sequences are unlikely to be the primary driver of CenH3 sequence diversification. At present, the functional explanation for the diversity generated by both conventional protein evolution in the N terminal domain, as well as alternative splicing, remains unexplained.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Rick E. Masonbrink, et al.
Masonbrink, Rick E.; Gallagher, Joseph P.; Jareczek, Josef J.; Renny-Byfield, Simon; Grover, Corrinne E.; Gong, Lei; and Wendel, Jonathan F., "CenH3 Evolution in Diploids and Polyploids of Three Angiosperm Genera" (2014). Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Publications. 69.
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