Recombination changes at the boundaries of fully and partially sex-linked regions between closely related Silene species pairs

JL Campos, Suo Qiu, S Guirao-Rico, R Bergero, Deborah Charlesworth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The establishment of a region of suppressed recombination is a critical change during sex chromosome evolution, leading to such properties as Y (and W) chromosome genetic degeneration, accumulation of repetitive sequences and heteromorphism. Although chromosome inversions can cause large regions to have suppressed recombination, and inversions are sometimes involved in sex chromosome evolution, gradual expansion of the non-recombining region could potentially sometimes occur. We here test whether closer linkage has recently evolved between the sex-determining region and several genes that are partially sex-linked in Silene latifolia, using Silene dioica, a closely related dioecious plants whose XY sex chromosome system is inherited from a common ancestor. The S. latifolia pseudoautosomal region (PAR) includes several genes extremely closely linked to the fully Y-linked region. These genes were added to an ancestral PAR of the sex chromosome pair in two distinct events probably involving translocations of autosomal genome regions causing multiple genes to become partially sex-linked. Close linkage with the PAR boundary must have evolved since these additions, because some genes added in both events now show almost complete sex linkage in S. latifolia. We compared diversity patterns of five such S. latifolia PAR boundary genes with their orthologues in S. dioica, including all three regions of the PAR (one gene that was in the ancestral PAR and two from each of the added regions). The results suggest recent recombination suppression in S. latifolia, since its split from S. dioica.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Issue number4
Early online date9 Nov 2016
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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