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Tissue Specificity and Sex-Specific Regulatory Variation Permit the Evolution of Sex-Biased Gene Expression

Dean, R; Mank, JE; (2016) Tissue Specificity and Sex-Specific Regulatory Variation Permit the Evolution of Sex-Biased Gene Expression. The American Naturalist , 188 (3) E74-E84. 10.1086/687526. Green open access

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Abstract

Genetic correlations between males and females are often thought to constrain the evolution of sexual dimorphism. However, sexually dimorphic traits and the underlying sexually dimorphic gene expression patterns are often rapidly evolving. We explore this apparent paradox by measuring the genetic correlation in gene expression between males and females (Cmf) across broad evolutionary timescales, using two RNA-sequencing data sets spanning multiple populations and multiple species. We find that unbiased genes have higher Cmf than sex-biased genes, consistent with intersexual genetic correlations constraining the evolution of sexual dimorphism. However, we found that highly sex-biased genes (both male and female biased) also had higher tissue specificity, and unbiased genes had greater expression breadth, suggesting that pleiotropy may constrain the breakdown of intersexual genetic correlations. Finally, we show that genes with high Cmf showed some degree of sex-specific changes in gene expression in males and females. Together, our results suggest that genetic correlations between males and females may be less important in constraining the evolution of sex-biased gene expression than pleiotropy. Sex-specific regulatory variation and tissue specificity may resolve the paradox of widespread sex bias within a largely shared genome.

Type: Article
Title: Tissue Specificity and Sex-Specific Regulatory Variation Permit the Evolution of Sex-Biased Gene Expression
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1086/687526
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1086/687526
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 by The University of Chicago.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, intersexual genetic correlation, cross-sex genetic correlations, sexual dimorphism, genetic constraint, tissue specificity, pleiotropy, X-CHROMOSOME, DOSAGE COMPENSATION, DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER, DIMORPHISM, SELECTION, GENOME, CONSTRAINT, CONFLICT, RESOLUTION, TURNOVER
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503535
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