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Parent of origin gene expression in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, supports Haig’s kinship theory for the evolution of genomic imprinting

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Genomic imprinting is the differential expression alleles in diploid individuals, with the expression being dependent on the sex of the parent from which it was inherited. Haig's kinship theory hypothesizes that genomic imprinting is due to an evolutionary conflict of interest between alleles from the mother and father. In social insects, it has been suggested that genomic imprinting should be widespread. One recent study identified parent‐of‐origin expression in honey bees and found evidence supporting the kinship theory. However, little is known about genomic imprinting in insects and multiple theoretical predictions must be tested to avoid single‐study confirmation bias. We, therefore, tested for parent‐of‐origin expression in a primitively eusocial bee. We found equal numbers of maternally and paternally biased expressed genes. The most highly biased genes were maternally expressed, offering support for the kinship theory. We also found low conservation of potentially imprinted genes with the honey bee, suggesting rapid evolution of genomic imprinting in Hymenoptera.
Tijdschrift: Evolution Letters
Issue: 6
Volume: 4
Pagina's: 479 - 490
Jaar van publicatie:2020