TITLE

Chromosome Copy Number Variation and Control in the Ciliate Chilodonella uncinata

AUTHOR(S)
Spring, Kevin J.; Pham, Stephanie; Zufall, Rebecca A.
PUB. DATE
February 2013
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Copy number variations are widespread in eukaryotes. The unusual genome architecture of ciliates, in particular, with its process of amitosis in macronuclear division, provides a valuable model in which to study copy number variation. The current model of amitosis envisions stochastic distribution of macronuclear chromosomes during asexual reproduction. This suggests that amitosis is likely to result in high levels of copy number variation in ciliates, as dividing daughter cells can have variable copy numbers of chromosomes if chromosomal distribution during amitosis is a stochastic process. We examined chromosomal distribution during amitosis in Chilodonella uncinata, a ciliate with gene-size macronuclear chromosomes. We quantified 4 chromosomes in evolving populations of C. uncinata and modeled the amitotic distribution process. We found that macronuclear chromosomes differ in copy number from one another but that copy number does not change as expected under a stochastic process. The chromosome carrying SSU increased in copy number, which is consistent with selection to increase abundance; however, two other studied chromosomes displayed much lower than expected among-line variance. Our models suggest that balancing selection is sufficient to explain the observed maintenance of chromosome copy during asexual reproduction.
ACCESSION #
87624583

 

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