Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Mol. Biol. Evol. 39(10):msac198


Open Access


Subgenome dominance after whole-genome duplication (WGD) has been observed in many plant species. However, the degree to which the chromatin environment affects this bias has not been explored. Here, we compared the dominant subgenome (maize1) and the recessive subgenome (maize2) with respect to patterns of sequence substitutions, genes expression, transposable element accumulation, small interfering RNAs, DNA methylation, histone modifications, and accessible chromatin regions (ACRs). Our data show that the degree of bias between subgenomes for all the measured variables does not vary significantly when both of the WGD genes are located in pericentromeric regions. Our data further indicate that the location of maize1 genes in chromosomal arms is pivotal for maize1 to maintain its dominance, but location has a less effect on maize2 homoeologs. In addition to homoeologous genes, we compared ACRs, which often harbor cis-regulatory elements, between the two subgenomes and demonstrate that maize1 ACRs have a higher level of chromatin accessibility, a lower level of sequence substitution, and are enriched in chromosomal arms. Furthermore, we find that a loss of maize1 ACRs near their nearby genes is associated with a reduction in purifying selection and expression of maize1 genes relative to their maize2 homoeologs. Taken together, our data suggest that chromatin environment and cis-regulatory elements are important determinants shaping the divergence and evolution of duplicated genes.