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A beak size locus in Darwin’s finches facilitated character displacement during a drought
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4826-0349
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
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2016 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 352, no 6284, 470-474 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ecological character displacement is a process of morphological divergence that reducescompetition for limited resources. We used genomic analysis to investigate the geneticbasis of a documented character displacement event in Darwin’s finches on Daphne Majorin the Galápagos Islands: The medium ground finch diverged from its competitor, the largeground finch, during a severe drought. We discovered a genomic region containing theHMGA2gene that varies systematically among Darwin’s finch species with different beaksizes. Two haplotypes that diverged early in the radiation were involved in the characterdisplacement event: Genotypes associated with large beak size were at a strong selectivedisadvantage in medium ground finches (selection coefficients= 0.59). Thus, a majorlocus has apparently facilitated a rapid ecological diversification in the adaptive radiationof Darwin’s finches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 352, no 6284, 470-474 p.
National Category
Genetics and Breeding
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-279968DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8786ISI: 000374479700050PubMedID: 27102486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-279968DiVA: diva2:909305
Funder
Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationSwedish Research Council, 80576801Swedish Research Council, 70374401
Available from: 2016-03-06 Created: 2016-03-06 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The genetic basis for adaptation in natural populations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The genetic basis for adaptation in natural populations
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many previous studies in evolutionary genetics have been based on few model organisms that can be reared at ease in the laboratory. In contrast, genetic studies of non-model, natural populations are desirable as they provide a wider range of adaptive phenotypes throughout evolutionary timescales and allow a more realistic understanding of how natural selection drives adaptive evolution. This thesis represents an example of how modern genomic tools can be effectively used to study adaptation in natural populations.

Atlantic herring is one of the world’s most numerous fish having multiple populations with phenotypic differences adapted to strikingly different environments. Our study demonstrated insignificant level of genetic drift in herring that resulted in minute genetic differences in the majority of the genome among these populations. In contrast, a small percentage of the loci showed striking genetic differentiation that were potentially under natural selection. We identified loci associated with adaptation to the Baltic Sea and with seasonal reproduction (spring- and autumn-spawning) and demonstrated that ecological adaptation in Atlantic herring is highly polygenic but controlled by a finite number of loci.

The study of Darwin’s finches constitutes a breakthrough in characterizing their evolution. We identified two loci, ALX1 and HMGA2, which most likely are the two most prominent loci that contributed to beak diversification and thereby to expanded food utilization. These loci have played a key role in adaptive evolution of Darwin’s finches. Our study also demonstrated that interspecies gene flow played a significant role in the radiation of Darwin’s finches and some species have a mixed ancestry.

This thesis also explored the genetic basis for the remarkable phenotypic differences between three male morphs in the ruff. Identification of two different versions of a 4.5 MB inversion in Satellites and Faeders that occurred about 4 million years ago revealed clues about the genetic foundation of male mating strategies in ruff. We highlighted two genes in the inverted region; HSD17B2 that affects metabolism of testosterone and MC1R that has a key role in regulating pigmentation, as the major loci associated with this adaptation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 60 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1192
Keyword
Adaptive evolution, Atlantic herring, ecological adaptation, seasonal reproduction, TSHR, Darwin’s finches, natural selection, beak, ALX1, HMGA2, ruff, lek, inversion, HSD17B2, MC1R
National Category
Genetics and Breeding
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-279969 (URN)978-91-554-9502-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-04-29, B41, BMC, Husargätan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-06 Created: 2016-03-06 Last updated: 2017-04-03

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Lamichhaney, SangeetHan, FanBerglund, JonasWang, ChaoSällman Almen, MarkusT. Webster, MatthewAndersson, Leif

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