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Evidence from a House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) Spleen Transcriptome for Adaptive Evolution and Biased Gene Conversion in Passerine Birds
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
2013 (English)In: Molecular biology and evolution, ISSN 0737-4038, E-ISSN 1537-1719, Vol. 30, no 5, 1046-1050 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Identifying genes influenced by natural selection can provide information about lineage-specific adaptations, and transcriptomes generated by next-generation sequencing are a useful resource for identifying such genes. Here, we utilize a spleen transcriptome for the house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), an emerging model for sexual selection and disease ecology, together with previously sequenced avian genomes (chicken, turkey, and zebra finch), to investigate lineage-specific adaptations within birds. An analysis of 4,398 orthologous genes revealed a significantly higher ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions and significantly higher GC content in passerines than in galliforms, an observation deviating from strictly neutral expectations but consistent with an effect of biased gene conversion on the evolutionary rate in passerines. These data also showed that genes exhibiting signs of positive selection and fast evolution in passerines have functional roles related to fat metabolism, neurodevelopment, and ion binding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 30, no 5, 1046-1050 p.
Keyword [en]
house finch, transcriptome, positive selection, d(N), d(S), effective population size, biased gene conversion
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-201247DOI: 10.1093/molbev/mst033ISI: 000318165700007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-201247DiVA: diva2:626843

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Available from: 2013-06-10 Created: 2013-06-10 Last updated: 2013-06-10Bibliographically approved

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