Complex fitness landscape shapes variation in a hyperpolymorphic species

A. V. Stolyarova, T. V. Neretina, E. A. Zvyagina, A. V. Fedotova, A. S. Kondrashov, G. A. Bazykin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


It is natural to assume that patterns of genetic variation in hyperpolymorphic species can reveal large-scale properties of the fitness landscape that are hard to detect by studying species with ordinary levels of genetic variation. Here, we study such patterns in a fungus Schizophyllum commune, the most polymorphic species known. Throughout the genome, short-range linkage disequilibrium (LD) caused by attraction of minor alleles is higher between pairs of nonsynonymous than of synonymous variants. This effect is especially pronounced for pairs of sites that are located within the same gene, especially if a large fraction of the gene is covered by haploblocks, genome segments where the gene pool consists of two highly divergent haplotypes, which is a signature of balancing selection. Haploblocks are usually shorter than 1000 nucleotides, and collectively cover about 10% of the S. commune genome. LD tends to be substantially higher for pairs of nonsynonymous variants encoding amino acids that interact within the protein. There is a substantial correlation between LDs at the same pairs of nonsynonymous mutations in the USA and the Russian populations. These patterns indicate that selection in S. commune involves positive epistasis due to compensatory interactions between nonsynonymous alleles. When less polymorphic species are studied, analogous patterns can be detected only through interspecific comparisons.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere76073
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


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