Pedigree-based and phylogenetic methods support surprising patterns of mutation rate and spectrum in the gray mouse lemur.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Mutations are the raw material on which evolution acts, and knowledge of their frequency and genomic distribution is crucial for understanding how evolution operates at both long and short timescales. At present, the rate and spectrum of de novo mutations have been directly characterized in relatively few lineages. Our study provides the first direct mutation-rate estimate for a strepsirrhine (i.e., the lemurs and lorises), which comprises nearly half of the primate clade. Using high-coverage linked-read sequencing for a focal quartet of gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), we estimated the mutation rate to be among the highest calculated for a mammal at 1.52 × 10-8 (95% credible interval: 1.28 × 10-8 -1.78 × 10-8 ) mutations/site/generation. Further, we found an unexpectedly low count of paternal mutations, and only a modest overrepresentation of mutations at CpG sites. Despite the surprising nature of these results, we found both the rate and spectrum to be robust to the manipulation of a wide range of computational filtering criteria. We also sequenced a technical replicate to estimate a false-negative and false-positive rate for our data and show that any point estimate of a de novo mutation rate should be considered with a large degree of uncertainty. For validation, we conducted an independent analysis of context-dependent substitution types for gray mouse lemur and five additional primate species for which de novo mutation rates have also been estimated. These comparisons revealed general consistency of the mutation spectrum between the pedigree-based and the substitution-rate analyses for all species compared.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Campbell, CR; Tiley, GP; Poelstra, JW; Hunnicutt, KE; Larsen, PA; Lee, H-J; Thorne, JL; Dos Reis, M; Yoder, AD

Published Date

  • August 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 127 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 233 - 244

PubMed ID

  • 34272504

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8322134

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-2540

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0018-067X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41437-021-00446-5


  • eng