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Dynamic evolution of euchromatic satellites on the X chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster and the simulans clade


Sproul, J.S. et al. (2020), Dynamic evolution of euchromatic satellites on the X chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster and the simulans clade, Dryad, Dataset,


ABSTRACTSatellite DNAs (satDNAs) are among the most dynamically evolving components of eukaryotic genomes and play important roles in genome regulation, genome evolution, and speciation. Despite their abundance and functional impact, we know little about the evolutionary dynamics and molecular mechanisms that shape satDNA distributions in genomes. Here we use high-quality genome assemblies to study evolutionary dynamics of two complex satDNAs, Rsp-like and 1.688 gm/cm3, in Drosophila melanogaster and its three nearest relatives in the simulans clade. We show that large blocks of these repeats are highly dynamic in the heterochromatin, where their genomic location varies across species. We discovered that small blocks of satDNA that are abundant in X chromosome euchromatin are similarly dynamic, with repeats changing in abundance, location, and composition among species. We detail the proliferation of a rare satellite (Rsp-like) across the X chromosome in D. simulans and D. mauritiana. Rsp-like spreads by inserting into existing clusters of the older, more abundant 1.688 satellite, in events that were likely facilitated by microhomology-mediated repair pathways. We show that Rsp-like is abundant on extrachromosomal circular DNA in D. simulans, which may have contributed to its dynamic evolution. Intralocus satDNA expansions via unequal exchange and the movement of higher-order repeats also contribute to the fluidity of the repeat landscape. We find evidence that euchromatic satDNA repeats experience cycles of proliferation and diversification somewhat analogous to bursts of transposable element proliferation. Our study lays a foundation for mechanistic studies of satDNA proliferation and the functional and evolutionary consequences of satDNA movement.


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Usage Notes

This archive includes data files and custom scripts used in our study. We organize the repository by figure number, and include additional directories with scripts and general data files not associated with specific figures.


National Institutes of Health, Award: R35 GM119515

National Science Foundation, Award: DBI-1811930