Origin and evolution of the sponge aggregation factor gene family

Grice, Laura F., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Roper, Kathrein E., Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Origin and evolution of the sponge aggregation factor gene family. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 5: 1083-1099. doi:10.1093/molbev/msx058

Author Grice, Laura F.
Gauthier, Marie E. A.
Roper, Kathrein E.
Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier
Degnan, Sandie M.
Degnan, Bernard M.
Title Origin and evolution of the sponge aggregation factor gene family
Journal name Molecular Biology and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1537-1719
Publication date 2017-01-19
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/molbev/msx058
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 34
Issue 5
Start page 1083
End page 1099
Total pages 48
Place of publication Cary, NC United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Although discriminating self from nonself is a cardinal animal trait, metazoan allorecognition genes do not appear to be homologous. Here we characterise the Aggregation Factor (AF) gene family, which encodes putative allorecognition factors in the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, and trace its evolution across 24 sponge (Porifera) species. The AF locus in Amphimedon is comprised of a cluster of five similar genes that encode Calx-beta and Von Willebrand domains and a newly defined Wreath domain, and are highly polymorphic. Further AF variance appears to be generated through individualistic patterns of RNA editing. The AF gene family varies between poriferans, with protein sequences and domains diagnostic of the AF family being present in Amphimedon and other demosponges, but absent from other sponge classes. Within the demosponges, AFs vary widely with no two species having the same AF repertoire or domain organisation. The evolution of AFs suggests that their diversification occurs via high allelism, and the continual and rapid gain, loss and shuffling of domains over evolutionary time. Given the marked differences in metazoan allorecognition genes, we propose the rapid evolution of AFs in sponges provides a model for understanding the extensive diversification of self-nonself recognition systems in the animal kingdom.
Keyword Aggregation factor
Intron phase
RNA editing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Wed, 25 Jan 2017, 13:56:46 EST by Laura Grice on behalf of School of Biological Sciences