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Divergence of Peroxisome Membrane Gene Sequence and Expression Between Yeast Species


Large population-genomic sequencing studies can enable highly-powered analyses of sequence signatures of natural selection. Genome repositories now available for Saccharomyces yeast make it a premier model for studies of the molecular mechanisms of adaptation. We mined the genomes of hundreds of isolates of the sister species S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus to identify sequence hallmarks of adaptive divergence between the two. From the top hits we focused on a set of genes encoding membrane proteins of the peroxisome, an organelle devoted to lipid breakdown and other specialized metabolic pathways. In-depth population- and comparative-genomic sequence analyses of these genes revealed striking divergence between S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus And from transcriptional profiles we detected non-neutral, directional cis-regulatory variation at the peroxisome membrane genes, with overall high expression in S. cerevisiae relative to S. paradoxus Taken together, these data support a model in which yeast species have differentially tuned the expression of peroxisome components to boost their fitness in distinct niches.

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