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Degenerative expansion of a young supergene

By Eckart Stolle, Rodrigo Pracana, Philip Howard, Carolina I Paris, Susan J Brown, Claudia Castillo-Carrillo, Stephen J Rossiter, Yannick Wurm

Posted 20 May 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/326645 (published DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msy236)

Suppressed recombination ultimately leads to gene loss, as demonstrated by the depauperate Y chromosomes of long-established XY pairs. To understand the shorter term effects, we used high-resolution optical mapping and k-mer distribution analysis in a young non-recombining region of fire ant social chromosomes. Instead of shrinking, the region has increased in length by more than 30%. This demonstrates that degenerative expansion can occur during the early evolution of non-recombining regions.

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