Rapid protein (co-)evolution from de-novo mutations in Arabidopsis arenosa

Can a conserved cellular process evolve rapidly?

Can a conserved cellular process evolve rapidly? And if yes, does it rely on standing variation already present in the population or on novel mutations? Magdalena Bohutínská in collaboration with Pirita Paajanen, Kirsten Bomblies and others investigated this on meiosis proteins, adapting to polyploid state in Arabidopsis. Discover more here or access to the published paper using this link

We analysed genome resequencing data of five diploid and one tetraploid lineages and found a large number of positively selected amino acid changes in multiple interacting meiosis proteins - especially in the relatively young tetraploid lineage.

Further, our tests suggested that co-evolution, and in some cases, multi-nucleotide mutations, might contribute to the rapid adaptation of meiotic proteins in tetraploids.