Spontaneous mutation rate in the smallest photosynthetic eukaryotes

Krasovec, Marc, Eyre-Walker, Adam, Sanchez-Ferandin, Sophie and Piganeau, Gwenael (2017) Spontaneous mutation rate in the smallest photosynthetic eukaryotes. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 (7). pp. 1770-1779. ISSN 0737-4038

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Mutation is the ultimate source of genetic variation, and knowledge of mutation rates is fundamental for our understanding of all evolutionary processes. High throughput sequencing of mutation accumulation lines has provided genome wide spontaneous mutation rates in a dozen model species, but estimates from nonmodel organisms from much of the diversity of life are very limited. Here, we report mutation rates in four haploid marine bacterial-sized photosynthetic eukaryotic algae; Bathycoccus prasinos, Ostreococcus tauri, Ostreococcus mediterraneus, and Micromonas pusilla. The spontaneous mutation rate between species varies from μ = 4.4 × 10−10 to 9.8 × 10−10 mutations per nucleotide per generation. Within genomes, there is a two-fold increase of the mutation rate in intergenic regions, consistent with an optimization of mismatch and transcription-coupled DNA repair in coding sequences. Additionally, we show that deviation from the equilibrium GC content increases the mutation rate by ∼2% to ∼12% because of a GC bias in coding sequences. More generally, the difference between the observed and equilibrium GC content of genomes explains some of the inter-specific variation in mutation rates.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0359 Evolution
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0426 Genetics
Depositing User: Adam Eyre-Walker
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 13:24
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2017 13:42
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/69493

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