Chromosome-scale selective sweeps shape Caenorhabditis elegans genomic diversity

Erik C. Andersen, Justin P. Gerke, Joshua A. Shapiro, Jonathan R. Crissman, Rajarshi Ghosh, Joshua S. Bloom, Marie Anne Félix, Leonid Kruglyak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is central to research in molecular, cell and developmental biology, but nearly all of this research has been conducted on a single strain of C. elegans. Little is known about the population genomic and evolutionary history of this species. We characterized C. elegans genetic variation using high-throughput selective sequencing of a worldwide collection of 200 wild strains and identified 41,188 SNPs. Notably, C. elegans genome variation is dominated by a set of commonly shared haplotypes on four of its six chromosomes, each spanning many megabases. Population genetic modeling showed that this pattern was generated by chromosome-scale selective sweeps that have reduced variation worldwide; at least one of these sweeps probably occurred in the last few hundred years. These sweeps, which we hypothesize to be a result of human activity, have drastically reshaped the global C. elegans population in the recent past.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalNature Genetics
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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