Characterizing the Interspecific Nucleotide Diversity and Rates of Evolution of Ryanodine Receptors
This thesis is an investigation of the evolution of Ryanodine receptor (RyR) genes. In this study, I characterized the interspecific evolution of RyRs by estimating their nucleotide diversity and dN/dS ratios to better understand their molecular evolution. In the first part, I found evidence suggesting that divergent regions undergo positive selection and that mutation cluster regions undergo purifying selection. In the second part, I found evidence suggesting that RyRs are under strong purifying selection. In the third part, I found evidence suggesting that RyR1a and RyR1b in fish may have undergone neofunctionalization. In the fourth part, I found evidence suggesting that RyR2 and RyR3 and RyR3 and DHPR have correlated rates of evolution. I propose that this is may be a result of compensatory evolution between RyRs. I tested for compensatory function by simulating mutations via a physiological model of RyR function, but did not find evidence for compensation.