Evolutionary principles of modular gene regulation in yeasts

Dawn A. Thompson, Sushmita Roy, Michelle Chan, Mark P. Styczynsky, Jenna Pfiffner, Courtney French, Amanda Socha, Anne Thielke, Sara Napolitano, Paul Muller, Manolis Kellis, Jay H. Konieczka, Ilan Wapinski, Aviv Regev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Divergence in gene regulation can play a major role in evolution. Here, we used a phylogenetic framework to measure mRNA profiles in 15 yeast species from the phylum Ascomycota and reconstruct the evolution of their modular regulatory programs along a time course of growth on glucose over 1 billion years. We found that modules have diverged proportionally to phylogenetic distance, with prominent changes in gene regulation accompanying changes in lifestyle and ploidy, especially in carbon metabolism. Paralogs have significantly contributed to regulatory divergence, typically within a very short window from their duplication. Paralogs from a whole genome duplication (WGD) event have a uniquely substantial contribution that extends over a longer span. Similar patterns occur when considering the evolution of the heat shock regulatory program measured in eight of the species, suggesting that these are general evolutionary principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00603
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 18 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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