Intron size minimisation in teleosts.

Jakt, Lars Martin, Dubin, Arseny and Johansen, Steinar Daae (2022) Intron size minimisation in teleosts. Open Access BMC Genomics, 23 (1). Art.Nr. 628. DOI 10.1186/s12864-022-08760-w.

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Background: Spliceosomal introns are parts of primary transcripts that are removed by RNA splicing. Although introns apparently do not contribute to the function of the mature transcript, in vertebrates they comprise the majority of the transcribed region increasing the metabolic cost of transcription. The persistence of long introns across evolutionary time suggests functional roles that can offset this metabolic cost. The teleosts comprise one of the largest vertebrate clades. They have unusually compact and variable genome sizes and provide a suitable system for analysing intron evolution. Results: We have analysed intron lengths in 172 vertebrate genomes and show that teleost intron lengths are relatively short, highly variable and bimodally distributed. Introns that were long in teleosts were also found to be long in mammals and were more likely to be found in regulatory genes and to contain conserved sequences. Our results argue that intron length has decreased in parallel in a non-random manner throughout teleost evolution and represent a deviation from the ancestral state. Conclusion: Our observations indicate an accelerated rate of intron size evolution in the teleosts and that teleost introns can be divided into two classes by their length. Teleost intron sizes have evolved primarily as a side-effect of genome size evolution and small genomes are dominated by short introns (<256 base pairs). However, a non-random subset of introns has resisted this process across the teleosts and these are more likely have functional roles in all vertebrate clades.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Genome size; Intron length; Teleost; Vertebrate evolution
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Main POF Topic: PT6: Marine Life
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: Springer, BioMedCentral
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Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2022 11:42
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2022 11:42

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