The molecular evolution of spiggin nesting glue in sticklebacks

Seear, P.J.; Rosato, E.; Goodall-Copestake, W.P. ORCID:; Barber, I.. 2015 The molecular evolution of spiggin nesting glue in sticklebacks. Molecular Ecology, 24 (17). 4474-4488.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
This article has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form in Molecular Ecology, published by Wiley. Copyright John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
The molecular evolution of spiggin nesting glue in sticklebacks AAM.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (868kB) | Preview


Gene duplication and subsequent divergence can lead to the evolution of new functions and lineage specific traits. In sticklebacks, the successive duplication of the mucin-like gene (MUC19) into a tandemly-arrayed, multi-gene family has enabled the production of copious amounts of ‘spiggin’, a secreted adhesive protein essential for nest construction. Here we examine divergence between spiggin genes among three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from ancestral marine and derived freshwater populations, and propose underpinning gene duplication mechanisms. Sanger sequencing revealed substantial diversity among spiggin transcripts, including alternatively spliced variants and interchromosomal spiggin chimeric genes. Comparative analysis of the sequenced transcripts and all other spiggin genes in the public domain support the presence of three main spiggin lineages (spiggin A, spiggin B and spiggin C) with further subdivisions within spiggin B (B1, B2) and spiggin C (C1, C2). Spiggin A had diverged least from the ancestral MUC19, while the spiggin C duplicates had diversified most substantially. In silico translations of the spiggin gene open reading frames predicted that spiggin A and B are secreted as long mucin-like polymers, while spiggin C1 and C2 are secreted as short monomers, with putative anti-microbial properties. We propose that diversification of duplicated spiggin genes has facilitated local adaptation of spiggin to a range of aquatic habitats.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > BAS Programmes 2015 > Ecosystems
ISSN: 09621083
Additional Keywords: gene duplication, gene family, Gasterosteus aculeatus, ecological adaptation, retrotransposon, nest building
Date made live: 22 Jul 2015 09:17 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...