Publications by authors named "Braedan McCluskey"

5 Publications

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A complex genetic architecture in zebrafish relatives Danio quagga and D. kyathit underlies development of stripes and spots.

PLoS Genet 2021 Apr 26;17(4):e1009364. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America.

Vertebrate pigmentation is a fundamentally important, multifaceted phenotype. Zebrafish, Danio rerio, has been a valuable model for understanding genetics and development of pigment pattern formation due to its genetic and experimental tractability, advantages that are shared across several Danio species having a striking array of pigment patterns. Here, we use the sister species D. quagga and D. kyathit, with stripes and spots, respectively, to understand how natural genetic variation impacts phenotypes at cellular and organismal levels. We first show that D. quagga and D. kyathit phenotypes resemble those of wild-type D. rerio and several single locus mutants of D. rerio, respectively, in a morphospace defined by pattern variation along dorsoventral and anteroposterior axes. We then identify differences in patterning at the cellular level between D. quagga and D. kyathit by repeated daily imaging during pattern development and quantitative comparisons of adult phenotypes, revealing that patterns are similar initially but diverge ontogenetically. To assess the genetic architecture of these differences, we employ reduced-representation sequencing of second-generation hybrids. Despite the similarity of D. quagga to D. rerio, and D. kyathit to some D. rerio mutants, our analyses reveal a complex genetic basis for differences between D. quagga and D. kyathit, with several quantitative trait loci contributing to variation in overall pattern and cellular phenotypes, epistatic interactions between loci, and abundant segregating variation within species. Our findings provide a window into the evolutionary genetics of pattern-forming mechanisms in Danio and highlight the complexity of differences that can arise even between sister species. Further studies of natural genetic diversity underlying pattern variation in D. quagga and D. kyathit should provide insights complementary to those from zebrafish mutant phenotypes and more distant species comparisons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009364DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8102007PMC
April 2021

RADSex: A computational workflow to study sex determination using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing data.

Mol Ecol Resour 2021 Jul 9;21(5):1715-1731. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Physiological Chemistry, Biocenter, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany.

The study of sex determination and sex chromosome organization in nonmodel species has long been technically challenging, but new sequencing methodologies now enable precise and high-throughput identification of sex-specific genomic sequences. In particular, restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq) is being extensively applied to explore sex determination systems in many plant and animal species. However, software specifically designed to search for and visualize sex-biased markers using RAD-Seq data is lacking. Here, we present RADSex, a computational analysis workflow designed to study the genetic basis of sex determination using RAD-Seq data. RADSex is simple to use, requires few computational resources, makes no prior assumptions about the type of sex-determination system or structure of the sex locus, and offers convenient visualization through a dedicated R package. To demonstrate the functionality of RADSex, we re-analysed a published data set of Japanese medaka, Oryzias latipes, where we uncovered a previously unknown Y chromosome polymorphism. We then used RADSex to analyse new RAD-Seq data sets from 15 fish species spanning multiple taxonomic orders. We identified the sex determination system and sex-specific markers in six of these species, five of which had no known sex-markers prior to this study. We show that RADSex greatly facilitates the study of sex determination systems in nonmodel species thanks to its speed of analyses, low resource usage, ease of application and visualization options. Furthermore, our analysis of new data sets from 15 species provides new insights on sex determination in fish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13360DOI Listing
July 2021

Phylogeny of zebrafish, a "model species," within Danio, a "model genus".

Mol Biol Evol 2015 Mar 20;32(3):635-52. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an important model for vertebrate development, genomics, physiology, behavior, toxicology, and disease. Additionally, work on numerous Danio species is elucidating evolutionary mechanisms for morphological development. Yet, the relationships of zebrafish and its closest relatives remain unclear possibly due to incomplete lineage sorting, speciation with gene flow, and interspecies hybridization. To clarify these relationships, we first constructed phylogenomic data sets from 30,801 restriction-associated DNA (RAD)-tag loci (483,026 variable positions) with clear orthology to a single location in the sequenced zebrafish genome. We then inferred a well-supported species tree for Danio and tested for gene flow during the diversification of the genus. An approach independent of the sequenced zebrafish genome verified all inferred relationships. Although identification of the sister taxon to zebrafish has been contentious, multiple RAD-tag data sets and several analytical methods provided strong evidence for Danio aesculapii as the most closely related extant zebrafish relative studied to date. Data also displayed patterns consistent with gene flow during speciation and postspeciation introgression in the lineage leading to zebrafish. The incorporation of biogeographic data with phylogenomic analyses put these relationships in a phylogeographic context and supplied additional support for D. aesculapii as the sister species to D. rerio. The clear resolution of this study establishes a framework for investigating the evolutionary biology of Danio and the heterogeneity of genome evolution in the recent history of a model organism within an emerging model genus for genetics, development, and evolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msu325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4327152PMC
March 2015

Wild sex in zebrafish: loss of the natural sex determinant in domesticated strains.

Genetics 2014 Nov 18;198(3):1291-308. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene Oregon 97403

Sex determination can be robustly genetic, strongly environmental, or genetic subject to environmental perturbation. The genetic basis of sex determination is unknown for zebrafish (Danio rerio), a model for development and human health. We used RAD-tag population genomics to identify sex-linked polymorphisms. After verifying this "RAD-sex" method on medaka (Oryzias latipes), we studied two domesticated zebrafish strains (AB and TU), two natural laboratory strains (WIK and EKW), and two recent isolates from nature (NA and CB). All four natural strains had a single sex-linked region at the right tip of chromosome 4, enabling sex genotyping by PCR. Genotypes for the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) with the strongest statistical association to sex suggested that wild zebrafish have WZ/ZZ sex chromosomes. In natural strains, "male genotypes" became males and some "female genotypes" also became males, suggesting that the environment or genetic background can cause female-to-male sex reversal. Surprisingly, TU and AB lacked detectable sex-linked loci. Phylogenomics rooted on D. nigrofasciatus verified that all strains are monophyletic. Because AB and TU branched as a monophyletic clade, we could not rule out shared loss of the wild sex locus in a common ancestor despite their independent domestication. Mitochondrial DNA sequences showed that investigated strains represent only one of the three identified zebrafish haplogroups. Results suggest that zebrafish in nature possess a WZ/ZZ sex-determination mechanism with a major determinant lying near the right telomere of chromosome 4 that was modified during domestication. Strains providing the zebrafish reference genome lack key components of the natural sex-determination system but may have evolved variant sex-determining mechanisms during two decades in laboratory culture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.114.169284DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224167PMC
November 2014

A new model army: Emerging fish models to study the genomics of vertebrate Evo-Devo.

J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol 2015 Jun 11;324(4):316-41. Epub 2014 Aug 11.

Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

Many fields of biology--including vertebrate Evo-Devo research--are facing an explosion of genomic and transcriptomic sequence information and a multitude of fish species are now swimming in this "genomic tsunami." Here, we first give an overview of recent developments in sequencing fish genomes and transcriptomes that identify properties of fish genomes requiring particular attention and propose strategies to overcome common challenges in fish genomics. We suggest that the generation of chromosome-level genome assemblies--for which we introduce the term "chromonome"--should be a key component of genomic investigations in fish because they enable large-scale conserved synteny analyses that inform orthology detection, a process critical for connectivity of genomes. Orthology calls in vertebrates, especially in teleost fish, are complicated by divergent evolution of gene repertoires and functions following two rounds of genome duplication in the ancestor of vertebrates and a third round at the base of teleost fish. Second, using examples of spotted gar, basal teleosts, zebrafish-related cyprinids, cavefish, livebearers, icefish, and lobefin fish, we illustrate how next generation sequencing technologies liberate emerging fish systems from genomic ignorance and transform them into a new model army to answer longstanding questions on the genomic and developmental basis of their biodiversity. Finally, we discuss recent progress in the genetic toolbox for the major fish models for functional analysis, zebrafish, and medaka, that can be transferred to many other fish species to study in vivo the functional effect of evolutionary genomic change as Evo-Devo research enters the postgenomic era.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jez.b.22589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4324401PMC
June 2015