Supplementary figures and tables from Multiple large inversions and breakpoint rewiring of gene expression in the evolution of the fire ant social supergene
2018-04-25T08:32:58Z (GMT) by
Supergenes consist of co-adapted loci that segregate together and are associated with adaptive traits. In the fire ant <i>Solenopsis invicta</i>, two ‘social’ supergene variants regulate differences in colony queen number and other traits. Suppressed recombination in this system is maintained, in part, by a greater than 9 Mb inversion, but the supergene is larger. Has the supergene in <i>S. invicta</i> undergone multiple large inversions? The initial gene content of the inverted allele of a supergene would be the same as that of the wild-type allele. So, how did the inversion increase in frequency? To address these questions, we cloned one extreme breakpoint in the fire ant supergene. In doing so, we found a second large (greater than 800 Kb) rearrangement. Furthermore, we determined the temporal order of the two big inversions based on the translocation pattern of a third small fragment. Because the <i>S. invicta</i> supergene lacks evolutionary strata, our finding of multiple inversions may support an introgression model of the supergene. Finally, we showed that one of the inversions swapped the promoter of a breakpoint-adjacent gene, which might have conferred a selective advantage relative to the non-inverted allele. Our findings provide a rare example of gene alterations arising directly from an inversion event.