Cladogenetic and Anagenetic Models of Chromosome Number Evolution: A Bayesian Model Averaging Approach

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Abstract

Chromosome number is a key feature of the higher-order organization of the genome, and changes in chromosome number play a fundamental role in evolution. Dysploid gains and losses in chromosome number, as well as polyploidization events, may drive reproductive isolation and lineage diversification. The recent development of probabilistic models of chromosome number evolution in the groundbreaking work by Mayrose et al. (2010, ChromEvol) have enabled the inference of ancestral chromosome numbers over molecular phylogenies and generated new interest in studying the role of chromosome changes in evolution. However, the ChromEvol approach assumes all changes occur anagenetically (along branches), and does not model events that are specifically cladogenetic. Cladogenetic changes may be expected if chromosome changes result in reproductive isolation. Here we present a new class of models of chromosome number evolution (called ChromoSSE) that incorporate both anagenetic and cladogenetic change. The ChromoSSE models allow us to determine the mode of chromosome number evolution; is chromosome evolution occurring primarily within lineages, primarily at lineage splitting, or in clade-specific combinations of both? Furthermore, we can estimate the location and timing of possible chromosome speciation events over the phylogeny. We implemented ChromoSSE in a Bayesian statistical framework, specifically in the software RevBayes, to accommodate uncertainty in parameter estimates while leveraging the full power of likelihood based methods. We tested ChromoSSE's accuracy with simulations and re-examined chromosomal evolution in Aristolochia, Carex section Spirostachyae, Helianthus, Mimulus sensu lato (s.l.), and Primula section Aleuritia, finding evidence for clade-specific combinations of anagenetic and cladogenetic dysploid and polyploid modes of chromosome evolution. [Anagenetic; Bayes factors; chromosome evolution; chromosome speciation; chromoSSE; cladogenetic; dysploidy; phylogenetic models; polyploidy; reversible-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo; whole genome duplication.]

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