Genome biology and evolution. 2017-09-01; 9.9: 2377-2394.

Dominance and Sexual Dimorphism Pervade the Salix purpurea L. Transcriptome

Carlson CH, Choi Y, Chan AP, Serapiglia MJ, Town CD, Smart LB

PMID: 28957462


The heritability of gene expression is critical in understanding heterosis and is dependent on allele-specific regulation by local and remote factors in the genome. We used RNA-Seq to test whether variation in gene expression among F1 and F2 intraspecific Salix purpurea progeny is attributable to cis- and trans-regulatory divergence. We assessed the mode of inheritance based on gene expression levels and allele-specific expression for F1 and F2 intraspecific progeny in two distinct tissue types: shoot tip and stem internode. In addition, we explored sexually dimorphic patterns of inheritance and regulatory divergence among F1 progeny individuals. We show that in S. purpurea intraspecific crosses, gene expression inheritance largely exhibits a maternal dominant pattern, regardless of tissue type or pedigree. A significantly greater number of cis- and trans-regulated genes coincided with upregulation of the maternal parent allele in the progeny, irrespective of the magnitude, whereas the paternal allele was higher expressed for genes showing cis × trans or compensatory regulation. Importantly, consistent with previous genetic mapping results for sex in shrub willow, we have delimited sex-biased gene expression to a 2 Mb pericentromeric region on S. purpurea chr15 and further refined the sex determination region. Altogether, our results offer insight into the inheritance of gene expression in S. purpurea as well as evidence of sexually dimorphic expression which may have contributed to the evolution of dioecy in Salix.