4 years ago

The genotype-phenotype relationships in the light of natural selection.

Xionglei He, Chung-I Wu, Han Chen
Although any genotype-phenotype relationships are a result of evolution, little is known about how natural selection and neutral drift, two distinct driving forces of evolution, operate to shape the relationships. By analysing ∼500 yeast quantitative traits we reveal a basic "supervisor-worker" gene architecture underlying a trait. Supervisors are often identified by "perturbational" approaches (such as gene deletion), while workers, which usually show small and statistically insignificant deletion effects, are tracked primarily by "observational" approaches that examine the correlation between gene activity and trait value across a number of conditions. Accordingly, supervisors provide most of the genetic understandings of the trait while workers provide rich mechanistic understandings. Further analyses suggest that most observed supervisor-worker interactions may evolve largely neutrally, resulting in pervasive between-worker epistasis that suppresses the tractability of workers. In contrast, a fraction of supervisors are recruited/maintained by natural selection to build worker co-expression, boosting the tractability of workers. Thus, by revealing a supervisor-worker gene architecture underlying complex traits, the opposite roles of natural selection versus neutral drift in shaping the gene architecture, and the complementary strengths of the perturbational and observational research strategies in characterizing the gene architecture, this study may lay a new conceptual foundation for understanding the molecular basis of complex traits.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msx288

DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msx288

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.