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The birth of a bacterial tRNA gene by large-scale, tandem duplication events

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Ayan,  Gökce B.
Research Group Microbial Evolutionary Dynamics, Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Park,  Hye Jin
Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Gallie,  Jenna
Research Group Microbial Evolutionary Dynamics, Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Ayan, G. B., Park, H. J., & Gallie, J. (2020). The birth of a bacterial tRNA gene by large-scale, tandem duplication events. eLife, 9: e57947. doi:10.7554/eLife.57947.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-7429-9
Abstract
Organisms differ in the types and numbers of tRNA genes that they carry. While the evolutionary mechanisms behind tRNA gene set evolution have been investigated theoretically and computationally, direct observations of tRNA gene set evolution remain rare. Here, we report the evolution of a tRNA gene set in laboratory populations of the bacterium ̑extitPseudomonas fluorescens} SBW25. The growth defect caused by deleting the single-copy tRNA gene, ̑extit{serCGA}, is rapidly compensated by large-scale (45–290 kb) duplications in the chromosome. Each duplication encompasses a second, compensatory tRNA gene (̑extit{serTGA}) and is associated with a rise in tRNA-Ser(UGA) in the mature tRNA pool. We postulate that tRNA-Ser(CGA) elimination increases the translational demand for tRNA-Ser(UGA), a pressure relieved by increasing ̑extit{serTGA copy number. This work demonstrates that tRNA gene sets can evolve through duplication of existing tRNA genes, a phenomenon that may contribute to the presence of multiple, identical tRNA gene copies within genomes.