Journal Article

Novel genome sequence of Chinese cavefish (Triplophysa rosa) reveals pervasive relaxation of natural selection in cavefish genomes

Zhao, Q., Shao, F., Li, Y., Yi, S.V. and Peng, Z.

Record Number:
5972
Year:
2022
Journal:
Molecular Ecology
Pages:
yy
Volume:
xx
Notes:
This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record
Abstract:
All cavefishes, living exclusively in caves across the globe, exhibit similar phenotypic traits, including the characteristic loss of eyes. To understand whether such phenotypic convergence shares similar genomic bases, here, we investigated genome-wide evolutionary signatures of cavefish phenotypes by comparing whole-genome sequences of three pairs of cavefishes and their surface fish relatives. Notably, we newly sequenced and generated a whole-genome assembly of the Chinese cavefish Triplophysa rosa. Our comparative analyses revealed several shared features of cavefish genome evolution. Cavefishes had lower mutation rates than their surface fish relatives. In contrast, the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions (ω) was significantly elevated in cavefishes compared to in surface fishes, consistent with the relaxation of purifying selection. In addition, cavefish genomes had an increased mutational load, including mutations that alter protein hydrophobicity profiles, which were considered harmful. Interestingly, however, we found no overlap in positively selected genes among different cavefish lineages, indicating that the phenotypic convergence in cavefishes was not caused by positive selection of the same sets of genes. Analyses of previously identified candidate genes associated with cave phenotypes supported this conclusion. Genes belonging to the lipid metabolism functional ontology were under relaxed purifying selection in all cavefish genomes, which may be associated with the nutrient-poor habitat of cavefishes. Our work reveals previously uncharacterized patterns of cavefish genome evolution and provides comparative insights into the evolution of cave-associated phenotypic traits. Keywords: cavefish, relaxed selection, evolutionary rate, mutation, phenotypic evolution
Times Cited:
1
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