Nucleotide Substitution Patterns in Vertebrate Genomes
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The rates and patterns at which nucleotide substitutions occur vary significantly across the genome sequence of vertebrates. A prominent example is the difference in the rate of evolution of functional sequences versus nonfunctional (neutrally evolving) sequences, which is explained by the influence of natural selection on functional sequences. However, even within neutrally evolving sequences there is striking variation in the rates and patterns of nucleotide substitutions. Unraveling the underlying processes that induce this variation is necessary to understand the basic principles of variation in neutral substitution profiles, which in turn is crucial for the identification of regions in the genome where natural selection acts. This research question builds the main focus of the present thesis. I have studied the causes and consequences of variation in different patterns of nucleotide substitutions. In particular, I have investigated substitutional strand asymmetries in mammalian genes and could show that they result from the asymmetric nature of DNA replication and transcription. Comparative analysis of substitutional asymmetries then suggested that the organization of DNA replication and the level of transcription are conserved among mammals. Further, I have examined the variation in CpG mutation rate among human genes and could show that beside DNA methylation also GC content plays a decisive role in CpG mutability. In addition, I have studied the signatures of GC-biased gene conversion and its impact on the evolution of the GC isochore structure in chicken. By comparison of the results in chicken to previous results in human I found evidence that karyotype stability is critical for the evolution of GC isochores. Finally, beside the empirical studies, I have performed theoretical investigations of substitution rates in functional sequences. More precisely, I have explored the temporal dynamics of estimates of the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rates dN/dS in a phylogentic-population genetic framework.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. , 50 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1048
nucleotide substitutions, mutation rate variation, strand asymmetries, CpG effect, GC-biased gene conversion, codon evolution
Evolutionary Biology Genetics
Research subject Biology with specialization in Molecular Evolution
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-198787ISBN: 978-91-554-8681-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-198787DiVA: diva2:618090
2013-06-13, Lindahlsalen, EBC, Norbyvägen 18C, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
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