Convergent evolution of polyploid genomes from across the eukaryotic tree of life

Yue Hao, Jonathon Fleming, Joanna Petterson, Eric Lyons, Patrick P. Edger, J. Chris Pires, Jeffrey L. Thorne, Gavin C. Conant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


By modeling the homoeologous gene losses that occurred in 50 genomes deriving from ten distinct polyploidy events, we show that the evolutionary forces acting on polyploids are remarkably similar, regardless of whether they occur in flowering plants, ciliates, fishes, or yeasts. We show that many of the events show a relative rate of duplicate gene loss before the first postpolyploidy speciation that is significantly higher than in later phases of their evolution. The relatively weak selective constraint experienced by the single-copy genes these losses produced leads us to suggest that most of the purely selectively neutral duplicate gene losses occur in the immediate postpolyploid period. Nearly all of the events show strong evidence of biases in the duplicate losses, consistent with them being allopolyploidies, with 2 distinct progenitors contributing to the modern species. We also find ongoing and extensive reciprocal gene losses (alternative losses of duplicated ancestral genes) between these genomes. With the exception of a handful of closely related taxa, all of these polyploid organisms are separated from each other by tens to thousands of reciprocal gene losses. As a result, it is very unlikely that viable diploid hybrid species could form between these taxa, since matings between such hybrids would tend to produce offspring lacking essential genes. It is, therefore, possible that the relatively high frequency of recurrent polyploidies in some lineages may be due to the ability of new polyploidies to bypass reciprocal gene loss barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjkac094
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • convergent evolution
  • evolutionary model
  • polyploidy
  • reciprocal gene loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Convergent evolution of polyploid genomes from across the eukaryotic tree of life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this