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      Single copy nuclear gene analysis of polyploidy in wild potatoes ( Solanum section Petota)


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          Recent genomic studies have drastically altered our knowledge of polyploid evolution. Wild potatoes ( Solanum section Petota) are a highly diverse and economically important group of about 100 species widely distributed throughout the Americas. Thirty-six percent of the species in section Petota are polyploid or with diploid and polyploid cytotypes. However, the group is poorly understood at the genomic level and the series is ideal to study polyploid evolution. Two separate studies using the nuclear orthologs GBSSI and nitrate reductase confirmed prior hypotheses of polyploid origins in potato and have shown new origins not proposed before. These studies have been limited, however, by the use of few accessions per polyploid species and by low taxonomic resolution, providing clade-specific, but not species-specific origins within clades. The purpose of the present study is to use six nuclear orthologs, within 54 accessions of 11 polyploid species, 34 accessions of 29 diploid species of section Petota representing their putative progenitors, and two outgroups, to see if phenomena typical of other polyploid groups occur within wild potatoes, to include multiple origins, loss of alleles, or gain of new alleles.


          Our results increase resolution within clades, giving better ideas of diploid progenitors, and show unexpected complexity of allele sharing within clades. While some species have little diversity among accessions and concur with the GBSSI and nitrate reductase results, such as S. agrimonifolium, S. colombianum, S. hjertingii, and S. moscopanum, the results give much better resolution of species-specific progenitors. Seven other species, however, show variant patterns of allele distributions suggesting multiple origins and allele loss. Complex three-genome origins are supported for S. hougasii, and S. schenckii, and one of the ten accessions of S. stoloniferum. A very unexpected shared presence of alleles occurs within one clade of S. verrucosum from Central America, and S. berthaultii from South America in six polyploid species S. demissum, S. hjertingii, S. hougasii, S. iopetalum, S. schenckii, and S. stoloniferum.


          Our results document considerable genomic complexity of some wild potato polyploids. These can be explained by multiple hybrid origins and allele losses that provide a clear biological explanation for the taxonomic complexity in wild potato polyploids. These results are of theoretical and practical benefit to potato breeders, and add to a growing body of evidence showing considerable complexity in polyploid plants in general.

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          Most cited references44

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          Genes duplicated by polyploidy show unequal contributions to the transcriptome and organ-specific reciprocal silencing.

          Most eukaryotes have genomes that exhibit high levels of gene redundancy, much of which seems to have arisen from one or more cycles of genome doubling. Polyploidy has been particularly prominent during flowering plant evolution, yielding duplicated genes (homoeologs) whose expression may be retained or lost either as an immediate consequence of polyploidization or on an evolutionary timescale. Expression of 40 homoeologous gene pairs was assayed by cDNA-single-stranded conformation polymorphism in natural (1- to 2-million-yr-old) and synthetic tetraploid cotton (Gossypium) to determine whether homoeologous gene pairs are expressed at equal levels after polyploid formation. Silencing or unequal expression of one homoeolog was documented for 10 of 40 genes examined in ovules of Gossypium hirsutum. Assays of homoeolog expression in 10 organs revealed variable expression levels and silencing, depending on the gene and organ examined. Remarkably, silencing and biased expression of some gene pairs are reciprocal and developmentally regulated, with one homoeolog showing silencing in some organs and the other being silenced in other organs, suggesting rapid subfunctionalization. Duplicate gene expression was examined in additional natural polyploids to characterize the pace at which expression alteration evolves. Analysis of a synthetic tetraploid revealed homoeolog expression and silencing patterns that sometimes mirrored those of the natural tetraploid. Both long-term and immediate responses to polyploidization were implicated. Data suggest that some silencing events are epigenetically induced during the allopolyploidization process.
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            Genome evolution in polyploids.

            J Wendel (2000)
            Polyploidy is a prominent process in plants and has been significant in the evolutionary history of vertebrates and other eukaryotes. In plants, interdisciplinary approaches combining phylogenetic and molecular genetic perspectives have enhanced our awareness of the myriad genetic interactions made possible by polyploidy. Here, processes and mechanisms of gene and genome evolution in polyploids are reviewed. Genes duplicated by polyploidy may retain their original or similar function, undergo diversification in protein function or regulation, or one copy may become silenced through mutational or epigenetic means. Duplicated genes also may interact through inter-locus recombination, gene conversion, or concerted evolution. Recent experiments have illuminated important processes in polyploids that operate above the organizational level of duplicated genes. These include inter-genomic chromosomal exchanges, saltational, non-Mendelian genomic evolution in nascent polyploids, inter-genomic invasion, and cytonuclear stabilization. Notwithstanding many recent insights, much remains to be learned about many aspects of polyploid evolution, including: the role of transposable elements in structural and regulatory gene evolution; processes and significance of epigenetic silencing; underlying controls of chromosome pairing; mechanisms and functional significance of rapid genome changes; cytonuclear accommodation; and coordination of regulatory factors contributed by two, sometimes divergent progenitor genomes. Continued application of molecular genetic approaches to questions of polyploid genome evolution holds promise for producing lasting insight into processes by which novel genotypes are generated and ultimately into how polyploidy facilitates evolution and adaptation.
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              Yesterday's polyploids and the mystery of diploidization.

              Thirty years after Susumu Ohno proposed that vertebrate genomes are degenerate polyploids, the extent to which genome duplication contributed to the evolution of the vertebrate genome, if at all, is still uncertain. Sequence-level studies on model organisms whose genomes show clearer evidence of ancient polyploidy are invaluable because they indicate what the evolutionary products of genome duplication can look like. The greatest mystery is the molecular basis of diploidization, the evolutionary process by which a polyploid genome turns into a diploid one.

                Author and article information

                BMC Evol Biol
                BMC Evol. Biol
                BMC Evolutionary Biology
                BioMed Central
                24 May 2012
                : 12
                : 70
                [1 ]Department of Horticulture, the State Agricultural Ministry Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Growth, Development and Quality Improvement, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058, China
                [2 ]Department of Horticulture, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, University of Wisconsin, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI, 53706-1590, USA
                [3 ]Centro Regional de Investigación Remehue, INIA, Xa Región de los Lagos, Km 8 Norte, Ruta 5 Sur, Casilla de Correos 24-O, Osorno, Chile
                [4 ]Departments of Botany and of Statistics, 1300 University Ave., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706-1590, USA
                [5 ]International Potato Center, P.O. Box 1558, Lima, 12, Peru
                [6 ]Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Tower Road, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
                Copyright ©2012 Cai et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 21 February 2012
                : 24 May 2012
                Research Article

                Evolutionary Biology
                Evolutionary Biology


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