The genetic basis of color-related local adaptation in a ring-like colonization around the Mediterranean
2016 (English)In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 70, no 1, 140-153 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Uncovering the genetic basis of phenotypic variation and the population history under which it established is key to understand the trajectories along which local adaptation evolves. Here, we investigated the genetic basis and evolutionary history of a clinal plumage color polymorphism in European barn owls (Tyto alba). Our results suggest that barn owls colonized the Western Palearctic in a ring-like manner around the Mediterranean and meet in secondary contact in Greece. Rufous coloration appears to be linked to a recently evolved nonsynonymous-derived variant of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene, which according to quantitative genetic analyses evolved under local adaptation during or following the colonization of Central Europe. Admixture patterns and linkage disequilibrium between the neutral genetic background and color found exclusively within the secondary contact zone suggest limited introgression at secondary contact. These results from a system reminiscent of ring species provide a striking example of how local adaptation can evolve from derived genetic variation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 70, no 1, 140-153 p.
Barn owl, clines, local adaptation, melanin-based coloration, ring species
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276834DOI: 10.1111/evo.12824ISI: 000368249200012PubMedID: 26773815OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-276834DiVA: diva2:903473