Identification of fast-evolving genes in the scleractinian Coral Acropora using comparative EST analysis

Iguchi, Akira, Shinzato, Chuya , Forêt, Sylvain, and Miller, David J. (2011) Identification of fast-evolving genes in the scleractinian Coral Acropora using comparative EST analysis. PLoS ONE, 6 (6). pp. 1-6.

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Abstract

To identify fast-evolving genes in reef-building corals, we performed direct comparative sequence analysis with expressed sequence tag (EST) datasets from two acroporid species: Acropora palmata from the Caribbean Sea and A. millepora from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Comparison of 589 independent sequences from 1,421 A. palmata contigs, with 10,247 A. millepora contigs resulted in the identification of 196 putative homologues. Most of the homologous pairs demonstrated high amino acid similarities (over 90%). Comparisons of putative homologues showing low amino acid similarities (under 90%) among the Acropora species to the near complete datasets from two other cnidarians (Hydra magnipapillata and Nematostella vectensis) implied that some were non-orthologous. Within 86 homologous pairs, 39 exhibited dN/dS ratios significantly less than 1, suggesting that these genes are under purifying selection associated with functional constraints. Eight independent genes showed dN/dS ratios exceeding 1, while three deviated significantly from 1, suggesting that these genes may play important roles in the adaptive evolution of Acropora. Our results also indicated that CEL-III lectin was under positive selection, consistent with a possible role in immunity or symbiont recognition. Further studies are needed to clarify the possible functions of the genes under positive selection to provide insight into the evolutionary process of corals.

Item ID: 18099
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2011 00:22
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060405 Gene Expression (incl Microarray and other genome-wide approaches) @ 80%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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