July 7, 2019  |  

Genome diversity and evolution in the budding yeasts (Saccharomycotina).

Authors: Dujon, Bernard A and Louis, Edward J

Considerable progress in our understanding of yeast genomes and their evolution has been made over the last decade with the sequencing, analysis, and comparisons of numerous species, strains, or isolates of diverse origins. The role played by yeasts in natural environments as well as in artificial manufactures, combined with the importance of some species as model experimental systems sustained this effort. At the same time, their enormous evolutionary diversity (there are yeast species in every subphylum of Dikarya) sparked curiosity but necessitated further efforts to obtain appropriate reference genomes. Today, yeast genomes have been very informative about basic mechanisms of evolution, speciation, hybridization, domestication, as well as about the molecular machineries underlying them. They are also irreplaceable to investigate in detail the complex relationship between genotypes and phenotypes with both theoretical and practical implications. This review examines these questions at two distinct levels offered by the broad evolutionary range of yeasts: inside the best-studied Saccharomyces species complex, and across the entire and diversified subphylum of Saccharomycotina. While obviously revealing evolutionary histories at different scales, data converge to a remarkably coherent picture in which one can estimate the relative importance of intrinsic genome dynamics, including gene birth and loss, vs. horizontal genetic accidents in the making of populations. The facility with which novel yeast genomes can now be studied, combined with the already numerous available reference genomes, offer privileged perspectives to further examine these fundamental biological questions using yeasts both as eukaryotic models and as fungi of practical importance. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

Journal: Genetics
DOI: 10.1534/genetics.116.199216
Year: 2017

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