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Title: Characterising fitness effects of gene copy number variation in yeast
Author: Norris, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 5124
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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Diploid organisms including yeast, most animals, and humans, typically carry two copies of each gene. Variation above or below two copies can however sometimes occur. When gene copy number reduction from two to one causes a disadvantage, that gene is considered haploinsufficient (HI). In the first part of my work, I identified associations between Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene properties and genome-scale HI phenotypes from earlier work. I compared HI profiles against 23 gene properties and found that genes with (i) greater numbers of protein interactions, (ii) greater numbers of genetic interactions, (iii) greater gene sequence conservation, and (iv) higher protein expression were significantly more likely to be HI. Additionally, HI showed negative relationships with (v) cell cycle regulation and (vi) promoter sequence conservation. I exploited the aforementioned associations using Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) to predict HI in existing data and guide experimental identification of 6 novel HI phenotypes, previously undetected in genome-scale screenings. I also found significant relationships between HI and two gene properties in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, relationships that hold despite the lack of conserved HI between S. cerevisiae and Sz. pombe orthologue gene pairs. These data suggest associations between HI and gene properties may be conserved in other organisms. The relationships and model presented here are a step towards understanding HI and its underlying mechanisms. Increases in copy number can occur through gene duplication. When duplication produces two functional gene copies, both experience relaxed selection and rapid mutation. This sometimes leads to interesting evolutionary events such as gain of novel function (neofunctionalisation). Previous work shows an ancient ancestor of S. cerevisiae underwent whole genome duplication (WGD) followed by massive redundant gene loss. Interestingly some duplicate pairs show retention of both copies, including the pair TUB1 and TUB3. Existing sequence data shows that TUB3 has experienced a very high rate of evolution post-WGD, suggesting neofunctionalisation. To characterise TUB3, I have carried out experiments measuring fitness effects of varying TUB1, TUB2 and TUB3 copy number across many environments. In ethanol media, some TUB1 and TUB3 null mutants interestingly show severe defects. Other data suggest stress response, ethanol tolerance, protein degradation and/or regulatory roles, which may involve the regulatory Snf1p protein kinase complex.
Supervisor: Delneri, Daniela; Lovell, Simon Sponsor: MCISB Doctoral Training Centre ; BBSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: haploinsufficiency ; machine-learning ; prediction ; tubulin ; yeast