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GISH painting of the Y chromosomes suggests advanced phases of sex chromosome evolution in three dioecious Cannabaceae species (Humulus lupulus, H. japonicus, and Cannabis sativa)

Abstract

In plants, dioecy is relatively rare, and it involves sex chromosome systems that often developed independently over time. These characteristics make dioecious plants an attractive model to study sex chromosome evolution. To clarify the patterns of plant sex chromosome evolution, studies should be performed on a wide range of dioecious species. It is interesting to study the sex chromosomes in related species that evolved during a long period of independent sex chromosome evolution. The Cannabaceae family includes three dioecious species with heteromorphic sex chromosomes. Cannabis sativa and Humulus lupulus use the XX/XY chromosome system, whereas Humulus japonicus contains multiple sex chromosomes (XX/XY1Y2). To better understand sex chromosome evolution and the level of genomic divergence of these three related species, we undertook self-GISH and comparative GISH analyses. The self-GISH allowed visualization of the Y chromosomes of C. sativa, H. lupulus, and H. japonicus. The self-GISH signal was distributed along the entire Y chromosome, excluding the pseudo-autosomal region (PAR). Our results indicate that the male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY) spans the overwhelming majority of the Y chromosomes of all three species studied. The self-GISH results reveal the accumulation of repetitive DNA sequences in the Y chromosomes of all three species studied. This sequences presented in autosomes and/or chromosome X at a lower copy number than in Y. In comparative GISH experiments where the probe DNA of one species was applied to another species, a weak signal was exclusively detected on 45S rDNA sites, indicating a high level of genomic differentiation of the species used in this study. We demonstrate small PAR size and opposing large MSY and its positions on Y chromosomes. We also found that these genomes are highly differentiated. Furthermore, the data obtained in this study indicate a long period of independent and advanced sex chromosome evolution. Our study provides a valuable basis for future genomic studies of sex and suggests that the Cannabaceae family offers a promising model to study sex chromosome evolution.

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Funding

This work was supported by the Russian Fund of Basic Research, project number 16–34-00757.

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Correspondence to Gennady I. Karlov.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Communicated by Handling Editor: Sergey Mursalimov.

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Razumova, O.V., Divashuk, M.G., Alexandrov, O.S. et al. GISH painting of the Y chromosomes suggests advanced phases of sex chromosome evolution in three dioecious Cannabaceae species (Humulus lupulus, H. japonicus, and Cannabis sativa). Protoplasma (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-022-01774-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-022-01774-x

Keywords

  • Cannabis sativa
  • Humulus lupulus
  • Humulus japonicus
  • Plant sex chromosomes
  • Genomic in situ hybridization (GISH)
  • Pseudo-autosomal region (PAR)
  • Male-specific region (MSY)