Copy number evolution in simple and complex tandem repeats across the C57BL/6 and C57BL/10 inbred mouse lines
G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics ; doi:10.1093/g3journal/jkab184
Abstract: Simple sequence tandem repeats are among the most rapidly evolving compartments of the genome. Some repeat expansions are associated with mammalian disease or meiotic segregation distortion, yet the rates of copy number change across generations are not well known. Here, we use 14 distinct sub-lineages of the C57BL/6 and C57BL/10 inbred mouse strains, which have been evolving independently over about 300 generations, to estimate the rates of copy number changes in genome-wide tandem repeats. Rates of change varied across repeats and across lines. Notably, CAG, whose expansions in coding regions are associated with many neurological and genetic disorders, was highly stable in copy number, likely indicating stabilizing selection. Rates of change were positively correlated with copy number, but the direction and magnitude of changes varied across lines. Some mouse lines experienced consistent losses or gains across most simple repeats, but this did not correlate with copy number changes in complex repeats. Rates of copy number change were similar between simple repeats and the more abundant complex repeats after normalization by copy number. Finally, the Y-specific centromeric repeat had a 4-fold higher rate of change than the homologous centromeric repeat on other chromosomes. Structural differences in satellite complexity, or restriction to the Y chromosome and elevated mutation rates of the male germline, may explain the higher rate of change. Overall, our work underscores the mutational fluidity of long tandem arrays of repeats, and the correlations and constraints between genome-wide tandem repeats which suggest that turnover is not a completely neutral process.
Keywords: satellite DNA / mutation / centromeres / mouse / kmers
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