Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Rates and patterns of molecular evolution in inbred and outbred Arabidopsis

Abstract : The evolution of self-fertilization is associated with a large reduction in the effective rate of recombination and a corresponding decline in effective population size. If many spontaneous mutations are slightly deleterious, this shift in the breeding system is expected to lead to a reduced efficacy of natural selection and genome-wide changes in the rates of molecular evolution. Here, we investigate the effects of the breeding system on molecular evolution in the highly self-fertilizing plant Arabidopsis thaliana by comparing its coding and noncoding genomic regions with those of its close outcrossing relative, the self-incompatible A. lyrata. More distantly related species in the Brassicaceae are used as outgroups to polarize the substitutions along each lineage. In contrast to expectations, no significant difference in the rates of protein evolution is observed between selfing and outcrossing Arabidopsis species. Similarly, no consistent overall difference in codon bias is observed between the species, although for lowbiased genes A. lyrata shows significantly higher major codon usage. There is also evidence of intron size evolution in A. thaliana, which has consistently smaller introns than its outcrossing congener, potentially reflecting directional selection on intron size. The results are discussed in the context of heterogeneity in selection coefficients across loci and the effects of life history and population structure on rates of molecular evolution. Using estimates of substitution rates in coding regions and approximate estimates of divergence and generation times, the genomic deleterious mutation rate (U) for amino acid substitutions in Arabidopsis is estimated to be approximately 0.2-0.6 per generation.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Béatrice Lauga Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Sunday, January 9, 2022 - 1:05:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 3:34:02 PM


Wright S MBE 2002.pdf
Files produced by the author(s)




Stephen I. Wright, Béatrice Lauga, Deborah Charlesworth. Rates and patterns of molecular evolution in inbred and outbred Arabidopsis. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2002, 19 (9), pp.1407-1420. ⟨10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a004204⟩. ⟨hal-03518208⟩



Record views


Files downloads