Abstract Title

Analysis of Duplication Events and Copy Number Differences in Macaque Y-chromosomal Genes

Abstract

Why are some genes multi-copy? In some organisms an additional gene copy with the same function may increase protein product output. In others, the subfunctionalization or neofunctionalization of a duplicated ancestral gene confers an advantage. In the case of the non-recombining Y-chromosome, the transposition of these duplicated genes is of particular interest due to the lack of research into the underlying mechanisms. It has been hypothesized that an autosomal CDYL gene is the progenitor of the Y-chromosome chromodomain (CDY) genes, created via duplication and retrotransposition events. To investigate whether CDY copy number may be associated with increased fitness in primates, we have designed a Copy Number Variation (CNV) assay, and applied it to samples of two macaque monkey species, Macaca mulatta and M. fascicularis. Hybridization of the species has led to Y-chromosome introgression from the former into the latter. We hypothesize the successful introgression may be due to a greater CDY copy number because this gene plays a major role in chromatin condensation in the testes. More CDY output would lead to increased sperm production – a distinct advantage in animals that experience significant sperm competition, like macaques. We believe further investigation of Y-chromosomal genes will reveal a similar history of autosomal gene duplication and transposition events, likely evolutionarily maintained by increased fitness.

Modified Abstract

Why are some genes multi-copy? Additional gene copies may confer an advantage by generating more output of a critical protein. It has been hypothesized that an autosomal CDYL gene is the progenitor of the Y-chromosome chromodomain (CDY) genes, created via duplication and retrotransposition events. To investigate whether CDY copy number differences may be associated with increased fitness in primates, we have designed a Copy Number Variation (CNV) assay, and applied it to samples of two macaque monkey species, Macaca mulatta and M. fascicularis. Hybridization of these species has led to Y-chromosome introgression from the former into the latter. We hypothesize the successful introgression may be due to a greater CDY copy number because this gene plays a major role in chromatin condensation in the testes.

Research Category

Biology/Ecology

Author Information

Taylor FeldtFollow

Primary Author's Major

Biological Anthropology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Anthony

Tosi

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

April 2019

Research Area

Evolution | Molecular Genetics | Population Biology

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM

Analysis of Duplication Events and Copy Number Differences in Macaque Y-chromosomal Genes

Why are some genes multi-copy? In some organisms an additional gene copy with the same function may increase protein product output. In others, the subfunctionalization or neofunctionalization of a duplicated ancestral gene confers an advantage. In the case of the non-recombining Y-chromosome, the transposition of these duplicated genes is of particular interest due to the lack of research into the underlying mechanisms. It has been hypothesized that an autosomal CDYL gene is the progenitor of the Y-chromosome chromodomain (CDY) genes, created via duplication and retrotransposition events. To investigate whether CDY copy number may be associated with increased fitness in primates, we have designed a Copy Number Variation (CNV) assay, and applied it to samples of two macaque monkey species, Macaca mulatta and M. fascicularis. Hybridization of the species has led to Y-chromosome introgression from the former into the latter. We hypothesize the successful introgression may be due to a greater CDY copy number because this gene plays a major role in chromatin condensation in the testes. More CDY output would lead to increased sperm production – a distinct advantage in animals that experience significant sperm competition, like macaques. We believe further investigation of Y-chromosomal genes will reveal a similar history of autosomal gene duplication and transposition events, likely evolutionarily maintained by increased fitness.