Do the same genes underlie parallel phenotypic divergence in different Littorina saxatilis populations?
ABSTRACT: Parallel patterns of adaptive divergence and speciation are cited as powerful evidence for the role of selection driving these processes. However, it is often not clear whether parallel phenotypic divergence is underlain by parallel genetic changes. Here, we asked about the genetic basis of parallel divergence in the marine snail Littorina saxatilis, which has repeatedly evolved coexisting ecotypes adapted to either crab predation or wave action. We sequenced the transcriptome of snails of both ecotypes from three distant geographical locations (Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) and mapped the reads to the L. saxatilis reference genome. We identified genomic regions potentially under divergent selection between ecotypes within each country, using an outlier approach based on F(ST) values calculated per locus. In line with previous studies indicating that gene reuse is generally common, we expected to find extensive sharing of outlier loci due to recent shared ancestry and gene flow between at least two of the locations in our study system. Contrary to our expectations, we found that most outliers were country specific, suggesting that much of the genetic basis of divergence is not shared among locations. However, we did find that more outliers were shared than expected by chance and that differentiation of shared outliers is often generated by the same SNPs. We discuss two mechanisms potentially explaining the limited amount of sharing we observed. First, a polygenic basis of divergent traits might allow for multiple distinct molecular mechanisms generating the same phenotypic patterns. Second, additional, location-specific axes of selection that we did not focus on in this study may produce distinct patterns of genetic divergence within each site.
Project description:Mechanisms underlying adaptive evolution can best be explored using paired populations displaying similar phenotypic divergence, illuminating the genomic changes associated with specific life history traits. Here, we used paired migratory [anadromous vs. resident (kokanee)] and reproductive [shore- vs. stream-spawning] ecotypes of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) sampled from seven lakes and two rivers spanning three catchments (Columbia, Fraser, and Skeena) in British Columbia, Canada to investigate the patterns and processes underlying their divergence. Restriction-site associated DNA sequencing was used to genotype this sampling at 7,347 single nucleotide polymorphisms, 334 of which were identified as outlier loci and candidates for divergent selection within at least one ecotype comparison. Sixty-eight of these outliers were present in two or more comparisons, with 33 detected across multiple catchments. Of particular note, one locus was detected as the most significant outlier between shore and stream-spawning ecotypes in multiple comparisons and across catchments (Columbia, Fraser, and Snake). We also detected several genomic islands of divergence, some shared among comparisons, potentially showing linked signals of differential selection. The single nucleotide polymorphisms and genomic regions identified in our study offer a range of mechanistic hypotheses associated with the genetic basis of O. nerka life history variation and provide novel tools for informing fisheries management.
Project description:The rough periwinkle, Littorina saxatilis, is a model system for studying parallel ecological speciation in microparapatry. Phenotypically parallel wave-adapted and crab-adapted ecotypes that hybridize within the middle shore are replicated along the northwestern coast of Spain and have likely arisen from two separate glacial refugia. We tested whether greater geographic separation corresponding to reduced opportunity for contemporary or historical gene flow between parallel ecotypes resulted in less parallel genomic divergence. We sequenced double-digested restriction-associated DNA (ddRAD) libraries from individual snails from upper, mid, and low intertidal levels of three separate sites colonized from two separate refugia. Outlier analysis of 4256 SNP markers identified 34.4% sharing of divergent loci between two geographically close sites; however, these sites each shared only 9.9%-15.1% of their divergent loci with a third more-distant site. STRUCTURE analysis revealed that genotypes from only three of 166 phenotypically intermediate mid-shore individuals appeared to result from recent hybridization, suggesting that hybrids cannot be reliably identified using shell traits. Hierarchical AMOVA indicated that the primary source of genomic differentiation was geographic separation, but also revealed greater similarity of the same ecotype across the two geographically close sites than previously estimated with dominant markers. These results from a model system for ecological speciation suggest that genomic parallelism is affected by the opportunity for historical or contemporary gene flow between populations.
Project description:Parallel evolution of similar phenotypes provides strong evidence for the operation of natural selection. Where these phenotypes contribute to reproductive isolation, they further support a role for divergent, habitat-associated selection in speciation. However, the observation of pairs of divergent ecotypes currently occupying contrasting habitats in distinct geographical regions is not sufficient to infer parallel origins. Here we show striking parallel phenotypic divergence between populations of the rocky-shore gastropod, Littorina saxatilis, occupying contrasting habitats exposed to either wave action or crab predation. This divergence is associated with barriers to gene exchange but, nevertheless, genetic variation is more strongly structured by geography than by ecotype. Using approximate Bayesian analysis of sequence data and amplified fragment length polymorphism markers, we show that the ecotypes are likely to have arisen in the face of continuous gene flow and that the demographic separation of ecotypes has occurred in parallel at both regional and local scales. Parameter estimates suggest a long delay between colonization of a locality and ecotype formation, perhaps because the postglacial spread of crab populations was slower than the spread of snails. Adaptive differentiation may not be fully genetically independent despite being demographically parallel. These results provide new insight into a major model of ecologically driven speciation.
Project description:The study of parallel ecological divergence provides important clues to the operation of natural selection. Parallel divergence often occurs in heterogeneous environments with different kinds of environmental gradients in different locations, but the genomic basis underlying this process is unknown. We investigated the genomics of rapid parallel adaptation in the marine snail Littorina saxatilis in response to two independent environmental axes (crab-predation versus wave-action and low-shore versus high-shore). Using pooled whole-genome resequencing, we show that sharing of genomic regions of high differentiation between environments is generally low but increases at smaller spatial scales. We identify different shared genomic regions of divergence for each environmental axis and show that most of these regions overlap with candidate chromosomal inversions. Several inversion regions are divergent and polymorphic across many localities. We argue that chromosomal inversions could store shared variation that fuels rapid parallel adaptation to heterogeneous environments, possibly as balanced polymorphism shared by adaptive gene flow.
Project description:Genetics-based approaches have informed fisheries management for decades, yet remain challenging to implement within systems involving recently diverged stocks or where gene flow persists. In such cases, genetic markers exhibiting locus-specific ('outlier') effects associated with divergent selection may provide promising alternatives to loci that reflect genome-wide ('neutral') effects for guiding fisheries management. Okanagan Lake kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka), a fishery of conservation concern, exhibits two sympatric ecotypes adapted to different reproductive environments; however, previous research demonstrated the limited utility of neutral microsatellites for assigning individuals. Here, we investigated the efficacy of an outlier-based approach to fisheries management by screening >11 000 expressed sequence tags for linked microsatellites and conducting genomic scans for kokanee sampled across seven spawning sites. We identified eight outliers among 52 polymorphic loci that detected ecotype-level divergence, whereas there was no evidence of divergence at neutral loci. Outlier loci exhibited the highest self-assignment accuracy to ecotype (92.1%), substantially outperforming 44 neutral loci (71.8%). Results were robust among-sampling years, with assignment and mixed composition estimates for individuals sampled in 2010 mirroring baseline results. Overall, outlier loci constitute promising alternatives for informing fisheries management involving recently diverged stocks, with potential applications for designating management units across a broad range of taxa.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is commonly used to screen different types of genetic variation in humans and model species. Here, we performed aCGH using an oligonucleotide gene-expression array for a non-model species, the intertidal snail Littorina saxatilis. First, we tested what types of genetic variation can be detected by this method using direct re-sequencing and comparison to the Littorina genome draft. Secondly, we performed a genome-wide comparison of four closely related Littorina species: L. fabalis, L. compressa, L. arcana and L. saxatilis and of populations of L. saxatilis found in Spain, Britain and Sweden. Finally, we tested whether we could identify genetic variation underlying "Crab" and "Wave" ecotypes of L. saxatilis. RESULTS: We could reliably detect copy number variations, deletions and high sequence divergence (i.e. above 3%), but not single nucleotide polymorphisms. The overall hybridization pattern and number of significantly diverged genes were in close agreement with earlier phylogenetic reconstructions based on single genes. The trichotomy of L. arcana, L. compressa and L. saxatilis could not be resolved and we argue that these divergence events have occurred recently and very close in time. We found evidence for high levels of segmental duplication in the Littorina genome (10% of the transcripts represented on the array and up to 23% of the analyzed genomic fragments); duplicated genes and regions were mostly the same in all analyzed species. Finally, this method discriminated geographically distant populations of L. saxatilis, but we did not detect any significant genome divergence associated with ecotypes of L. saxatilis. CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides new information on the sensitivity and the potential use of oligonucleotide arrays for genotyping of non-model organisms. Applying this method to Littorina species yields insights into genome evolution following the recent species radiation and supports earlier single-gene based phylogenies. Genetic differentiation of L. saxatilis ecotypes was not detected in this study, despite pronounced innate phenotypic differences. The reason may be that these differences are due to single-nucleotide polymorphisms.
Project description:Adaptive divergence and speciation may happen despite opposition by gene flow. Identifying the genomic basis underlying divergence with gene flow is a major task in evolutionary genomics. Most approaches (e.g., outlier scans) focus on genomic regions of high differentiation. However, not all genomic architectures potentially underlying divergence are expected to show extreme differentiation. Here, we develop an approach that combines hybrid zone analysis (i.e., focuses on spatial patterns of allele frequency change) with system-specific simulations to identify loci inconsistent with neutral evolution. We apply this to a genome-wide SNP set from an ideally suited study organism, the intertidal snail Littorina saxatilis, which shows primary divergence between ecotypes associated with different shore habitats. We detect many SNPs with clinal patterns, most of which are consistent with neutrality. Among non-neutral SNPs, most are located within three large putative inversions differentiating ecotypes. Many non-neutral SNPs show relatively low levels of differentiation. We discuss potential reasons for this pattern, including loose linkage to selected variants, polygenic adaptation and a component of balancing selection within populations (which may be expected for inversions). Our work is in line with theory predicting a role for inversions in divergence, and emphasizes that genomic regions contributing to divergence may not always be accessible with methods purely based on allele frequency differences. These conclusions call for approaches that take spatial patterns of allele frequency change into account in other systems.
Project description:Population differentiation can be driven in large part by natural selection, but selectively neutral evolution can play a prominent role in shaping patters of population divergence. The decomposition of the evolutionary history of populations into the relative effects of natural selection and selectively neutral evolution enables an understanding of the causes of population divergence and adaptation. In this study, we examined heterogeneous genomic divergence between alpine and lowland ecotypes of the allopolyploid plant, Anemone multifida. Using peak height and dominant AFLP data, we quantified population differentiation at non-outlier (neutral) and outlier loci to determine the potential contribution of natural selection and selectively neutral evolution to population divergence. We found 13 candidate loci, corresponding to 2.7% of loci, with signatures of divergent natural selection between alpine and lowland populations and between alpine populations (Fst ?=?0.074-0.445 at outlier loci), but neutral population differentiation was also evident between alpine populations (FST ?=?0.041-0.095 at neutral loci). By examining population structure at both neutral and outlier loci, we determined that the combined effects of selection and neutral evolution are associated with the divergence of alpine populations, which may be linked to extreme abiotic conditions and isolation between alpine sites. The presence of outlier levels of genetic variation in structured populations underscores the importance of separately analyzing neutral and outlier loci to infer the relative role of divergent natural selection and neutral evolution in population divergence.
Project description:Background: Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is commonly used to screen different types of genetic variation in humans and model species. Here, we performed aCGH using an oligonucleotide gene-expression array for a non-model species, the intertidal snail Littorina saxatilis. First, we tested what types of genetic variation can be detected by this method using direct re-sequencing and comparison to the Littorina genome draft. Secondly, we performed a genome-wide comparison of four closely related Littorina species: L. fabalis, L. compressa, L. arcana and L. saxatilis and of populations of L. saxatilis found in Spain, Britain and Sweden. Finally, we tested whether we could identify genetic variation underlying “Crab” and “Wave” ecotypes of L. saxatilis. Results: We could reliably detect copy number variations, deletions and high sequence divergence (i.e. above 3%), but not single nucleotide polymorphisms. The overall hybridization pattern and number of significantly diverged genes were in close agreement with earlier phylogenetic reconstructions based on single genes. The trichotomy of L. arcana, L. compressa and L. saxatilis could not be resolved and we argue that these divergence events have occurred recently and very close in time. We found evidence for high levels of segmental duplication in the Littorina genome (10% of the transcripts represented on the array and up to 23% of the analyzed genomic fragments); duplicated genes and regions were mostly the same in all analyzed species. Finally, this method discriminated geographically distant populations of L. saxatilis, but we did not detect any significant genome divergence associated with ecotypes of L. saxatilis. Conclusions: The present study provides new information on the sensitivity and the potential use of oligonucleotide arrays for genotyping of non-model organisms. Applying this method to Littorina species yields insights into genome evolution following the recent species radiation and supports earlier single-gene based phylogenies. Genetic differentiation of L. saxatilis ecotypes was not detected in this study, despite pronounced innate phenotypic differences. The reason may be that these differences are due to single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Genomic DNA samples of L. fabalis, L. compressa, L. arcana and 3 geographic populations x 2 ecotypes of L. saxatilis (n=4 per group) have been hybridized to a transcriptomic oligoarray.
Project description:The mosaic distribution of interbreeding taxa with contrasting ecology and morphology offers an opportunity to study microevolutionary dynamics during ecological divergence. We investigate here the evolutionary history of an alpine and a montane ecotype of Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae) in the south-eastern Alps. From six pairs of geographically close populations of the two ecotypes (120 individuals) we obtained a high-coverage restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) dataset that was used for demographic inference to test the hypothesis of parallel evolution of the two ecotypes. The data are consistent with repeated ecological divergence in H. pusillum, uncovering up to five polytopic origins of one ecotype from the other. A complex evolutionary history is evidenced, with local isolation-with-migration in two population pairs and intra-ecotype migration in two others. In all cases, the time of divergence or secondary contact was inferred as postglacial. A metagenomic analysis on exogenous contaminant RAD sequences suggests divergent microbial communities between the ecotypes. The lack of shared genomic regions of high divergence across population pairs illustrates the action of drift and/or local selection in shaping genetic divergence across repeated cases of ecological divergence.