July 19, 2019  |  

Variation and evolution in the glutamine-rich repeat region of Drosophila argonaute-2.

Authors: Palmer, William H and Obbard, Darren J

RNA interference pathways mediate biological processes through Argonaute-family proteins, which bind small RNAs as guides to silence complementary target nucleic acids . In insects and crustaceans Argonaute-2 silences viral nucleic acids, and therefore acts as a primary effector of innate antiviral immunity. Although the function of the major Argonaute-2 domains, which are conserved across most Argonaute-family proteins, are known, many invertebrate Argonaute-2 homologs contain a glutamine-rich repeat (GRR) region of unknown function at the N-terminus . Here we combine long-read amplicon sequencing of Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) lines with publicly available sequence data from many insect species to show that this region evolves extremely rapidly and is hyper-variable within species. We identify distinct GRR haplotype groups in Drosophila melanogaster, and suggest that one of these haplotype groups has recently risen to high frequency in a North American population. Finally, we use published data from genome-wide association studies of viral resistance in D. melanogaster to test whether GRR haplotypes are associated with survival after virus challenge. We find a marginally significant association with survival after challenge with Drosophila C Virus in the DGRP, but we were unable to replicate this finding using lines from the Drosophila Synthetic Population Resource panel. Copyright © 2016 Palmer and Obbard.

Journal: G3
DOI: 10.1534/g3.116.031880
Year: 2016

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