Estelle Proux-Wéra

Estelle Proux-Wéra


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Works at Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Visiting address Tomtebodavägen 23A
Postal address Institutionen för biokemi och biofysik 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2020. Pedro Almeida (et al.). BMC Biology 18 (1)

    Background: Sex chromosomes have evolved independently multiple times in eukaryotes and are therefore considered a prime example of convergent genome evolution. Sex chromosomes are known to emerge after recombination is halted between a homologous pair of chromosomes, and this leads to a range of non-adaptive modifications causing gradual degeneration and gene loss on the sex-limited chromosome. However, the proximal causes of recombination suppression and the pace at which degeneration subsequently occurs remain unclear.

    Results: Here, we use long- and short-read single-molecule sequencing approaches to assemble and annotate a draft genome of the basket willow, Salix viminalis, a species with a female heterogametic system at the earliest stages of sex chromosome emergence. Our single-molecule approach allowed us to phase the emerging Z and W haplotypes in a female, and we detected very low levels of Z/W single-nucleotide divergence in the non-recombining region. Linked-read sequencing of the same female and an additional male (ZZ) revealed the presence of two evolutionary strata supported by both divergence between the Z and W haplotypes and by haplotype phylogenetic trees. Gene order is still largely conserved between the Z and W homologs, although the W-linked region contains genes involved in cytokinin signaling regulation that are not syntenic with the Z homolog. Furthermore, we find no support across multiple lines of evidence for inversions, which have long been assumed to halt recombination between the sex chromosomes.

    Conclusions: Our data suggest that selection against recombination is a more gradual process at the earliest stages of sex chromosome formation than would be expected from an inversion and may result instead from the accumulation of transposable elements. Our results present a cohesive understanding of the earliest genomic consequences of recombination suppression as well as valuable insights into the initial stages of sex chromosome formation and regulation of sex differentiation.

  • 2017. Anaïs Le Rhun (et al.). Nucleic Acids Research 45 (5), 2329-2340

    A better understanding of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in bacteria relies on studying their transcriptome. RNA sequencing methods are used not only to assess RNA abundance but also the exact boundaries of primary and processed transcripts. Here, we developed a method, called identification of specific cleavage position (ISCP), which enables the identification of direct endoribonuclease targets in vivo by comparing the 5' and 3' ends of processed transcripts between wild type and RNase deficient strains. To demonstrate the ISCP method, we used as a model the double-stranded specific RNase III in the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. We mapped 92 specific cleavage positions (SCPs) among which, 48 were previously described and 44 are new, with the characteristic 2 nucleotides 3' overhang of RNase III. Most SCPs were located in untranslated regions of RNAs. We screened for RNase III targets using transcriptomic differential expression analysis (DEA) and compared those with the RNase III targets identified using the ISCP method. Our study shows that in S. pyogenes, under standard growth conditions, RNase III has a limited impact both on antisense transcripts and on global gene expression with the expression of most of the affected genes being downregulated in an RNase III deletion mutant.

  • 2017. Anastasiia I. Evkaikina (et al.). Genome Biology and Evolution 9 (9), 2444-2460

    Lycopodiophyta-consisting of three orders, Lycopodiales, Isoetales and Selaginellales, with different types of shoot apical meristems (SAMs)-form the earliest branch among the extant vascular plants. They represent a sister group to all other vascular plants, from which they differ in that their leaves are microphylls-that is, leaves with a single, unbranched vein, emerging from the protostele without a leaf gap-not megaphylls. All leaves represent determinate organs originating on the flanks of indeterminate SAMs. Thus, leaf formation requires the suppression of indeterminacy, that is, of KNOX transcription factors. In seed plants, this is mediated by different groups of transcription factors including ARP and YABBY. We generated a shoot tip transcriptome of Huperzia selago (Lycopodiales) to examine the genes involved in leaf formation. Our H. selago transcriptome does not contain any ARP homolog, although transcriptomes of Selaginella spp. do. Surprisingly, we discovered a YABBY homolog, although these transcription factors were assumed to have evolved only in seed plants. The existence of a YABBY homolog in H. selago suggests that YABBY evolved already in the common ancestor of the vascular plants, and subsequently was lost in some lineages like Selaginellales, whereas ARP may have been lost in Lycopodiales. The presence of YABBY in the common ancestor of vascular plants would also support the hypothesis that this common ancestor had a simplex SAM. Furthermore, a comparison of the expression patterns of ARP in shoot tips of Selaginella kraussiana (Harrison CJ, et al. 2005. Independent recruitment of a conserved developmental mechanism during leaf evolution. Nature 434(7032): 509-514.) and YABBY in shoot tips of H. selago implies that the development of microphylls, unlike megaphylls, does not seem to depend on the combined activities of ARP and YABBY. Altogether, our data show that Lycopodiophyta are a diverse group; so, in order to understand the role of Lycopodiophyta in evolution, representatives of Lycopodiales, Selaginellales, as well as of Isoetales, have to be examined.

Show all publications by Estelle Proux-Wéra at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 17, 2020

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