The evolution of the temporal program of genome replication

Nicolas Agier, Stéphane Delmas, Qing Zhang, Aubin Fleiss, Yan Jaszczyszyn, Erwin van Dijk, Claude Thermes, Martin Weigt, Marco Cosentino-Lagomarsino and Gilles Fischer

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Received: 18th October 17

Comparative analyses of temporal programs of genome replication revealed either a nearly complete conservation between closely related species or a comprehensive reprogramming between distantly related species. Therefore, many important questions on the evolutionary remodeling of replication timing programs remain unanswered. To address this issue, we generated genome-wide replication timing profiles for ten yeast species from the genus Lachancea, covering a continuous evolutionary range from closely related to more divergent species. The comparative analysis of these profiles revealed that the replication program linearly evolves with increasing evolutionary divergence between these species. We found that the evolution of the timing program mainly results from a high evolutionary turnover rate of the cohort of active replication origins. We detected about one thousand evolutionary events of losses of active replication origins and gains of newborn origins since the species diverged from their last common ancestor about 80 million years ago. We show that the relocation of active replication origins is independent from synteny breakpoints, suggesting that chromosome rearrangements did not drive the evolution of the replication programs. Rather, origin gains and losses are linked both in space, along chromosomes, and in time, along the same branches of the phylogenetic tree. New origins continuously arise with on average low to medium firing efficiencies and increase in efficiency and earliness as they evolutionarily age. Yet, a subset of newborn origins emerges with high firing efficiency and origin losses occur concomitantly to their emergence and preferentially in their direct chromosomal vicinity. These key findings on the evolutionary birth, death and conservation of active replication origins provide the first description of how the temporal program of genome replication has evolved in eukaryotes.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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