The genome-wide dynamics of purging during selfing in maize

Roessler, Kyria, Muyle, Aline, Diez, Concepcion M, Gaut, Garren R J, Bousios, Alexandros, Stitzer, Michelle C, Seymour, Danelle K, Doebley, John F, Liu, Qingpo and Gaut, Brandon S (2019) The genome-wide dynamics of purging during selfing in maize. Nature Plants, 5 (9). pp. 980-990. ISSN 2055-026X

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Self-fertilization (also known as selfing) is an important reproductive strategy in plants and a widely applied tool for plant genetics and plant breeding. Selfing can lead to inbreeding depression by uncovering recessive deleterious variants, unless these variants are purged by selection. Here we investigated the dynamics of purging in a set of eleven maize lines that were selfed for six generations. We show that heterozygous, putatively deleterious single nucleotide polymorphisms are preferentially lost from the genome during selfing. Deleterious single nucleotide polymorphisms were lost more rapidly in regions of high recombination, presumably because recombination increases the efficacy of selection by uncoupling linked variants. Overall, heterozygosity decreased more slowly than expected, by an estimated 35% to 40% per generation instead of the expected 50%, perhaps reflecting pervasive associative overdominance. Finally, three lines exhibited marked decreases in genome size due to the purging of transposable elements. Genome loss was more likely to occur for lineages that began with larger genomes with more transposable elements and chromosomal knobs. These three lines purged an average of 398 Mb from their genomes, an amount equivalent to three Arabidopsis thaliana genomes per lineage, in only a few generations.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Alexandros Bousios
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 15:24
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2022 15:15

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