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© 2014 McManus et al.;This article, published in Genome Research, is available under a Creative Commons License

Abstract or Description

Understanding the patterns and causes of phenotypic divergence is a central goal in evolutionary biology. Much work has shown that mRNA abundance is highly variable between closely related species. However, the extent and mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene regulatory evolution are largely unknown. Here we used ribosome profiling to compare transcript abundance and translation efficiency in two closely related yeast species (S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus). By comparing translation regulatory divergence to interspecies differences in mRNA sequence features, we show that differences in transcript leaders and codon bias substantially contribute to divergent translation. Globally, we find that translation regulatory divergence often buffers species differences in mRNA abundance, such that ribosome occupancy is more conserved than transcript abundance. We used allele-specific ribosome profiling in interspecies hybrids to compare the relative contributions of cis- and trans-regulatory divergence to species differences in mRNA abundance and translation efficiency. The mode of gene regulatory divergence differs for these processes, as trans-regulatory changes play a greater role in divergent mRNA abundance than in divergent translation efficiency. Strikingly, most genes with aberrant transcript abundance in F1 hybrids (either over- or underexpressed compared to both parent species) did not exhibit aberrant ribosome occupancy. Our results show that interspecies differences in translation contribute substantially to the evolution of gene expression. Compensatory differences in transcript abundance and translation efficiency may increase the robustness of gene regulation.



Creative Commons

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

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Published In

Genome research, 24, 3, 422-430.