Elevated evolutionary rates in the laboratory strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Zhenglong Gu*, Lior David, Dmitri Petrov, Ted Jones, Ronald W. Davis, Lars M. Steinmetz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

By using the maximum likelihood method, we made a genomewide comparison of the evolutionary rates in the lineages leading to the laboratory strain (S288c) and a wild strain (YJM789) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and found that genes in the laboratory strain tend to evolve faster than in the wild strain. The pattern of elevated evolution suggests that relaxation of selection intensity is the dominant underlying reason, which is consistent with recurrent bottlenecks in the S. cerevisiae laboratory strain population. Supporting this conclusion are the following observations: (i) the increases in nonsynonymous evolutionary rate occur for genes in all functional categories; (ii) most of the synonymous evolutionary rate increases in S288c occur in genes with strong codon usage bias; (iii) genes under stronger negative selection have a larger increase in nonsynonymous evolutionary rate; and (iv) more genes with adaptive evolution were detected in the laboratory strain, but they do not account for the majority of the increased evolution. The present discoveries suggest that experimental and possible industrial manipulations of the laboratory strain of yeast could have had a strong effect on the genetic makeup of this model organism. Furthermore, they imply an evolution of laboratory model organisms away from their wild counterparts, questioning the relevancy of the models especially when extensive laboratory cultivation has occurred. In addition, these results shed light on the evolution of livestock and crop species that have been under human domestication for years.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1092-1097
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume102
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Model organism
  • Slightly deleterious mutation
  • Yeast evolution

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