Genomic analyses suggest parallel ecological divergence in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae).
ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:Microbial ecologists and systematists are challenged to discover the early ecological changes that drive the splitting of one bacterial population into two ecologically distinct populations. We have aimed to identify newly divergent lineages ("ecotypes") bearing the dynamic properties attributed to species, with the rationale that discovering their ecological differences would reveal the ecological dimensions of speciation. To this end, we have sampled bacteria from the Bacillus subtilis-Bacillus licheniformis clade from sites differing in solar exposure and soil texture within a Death Valley canyon. Within this clade, we hypothesized ecotype demarcations based on DNA sequence diversity, through analysis of the clade's evolutionary history by Ecotype Simulation (ES) and AdaptML. Ecotypes so demarcated were found to be significantly different in their associations with solar exposure and soil texture, suggesting that these and covarying environmental parameters are among the dimensions of ecological divergence for newly divergent Bacillus ecotypes. Fatty acid composition appeared to contribute to ecotype differences in temperature adaptation, since those ecotypes with more warm-adapting fatty acids were isolated more frequently from sites with greater solar exposure. The recognized species and subspecies of the B. subtilis-B. licheniformis clade were found to be nearly identical to the ecotypes demarcated by ES, with a few exceptions where a recognized taxon is split at most into three putative ecotypes. Nevertheless, the taxa recognized do not appear to encompass the full ecological diversity of the B. subtilis-B. licheniformis clade: ES and AdaptML identified several newly discovered clades as ecotypes that are distinct from any recognized taxon.
Project description:Ecology can play a major role in species diversification. As individuals are adapting to contrasting habitats, reproductive barriers may evolve at multiple levels. While pre-mating barriers have been extensively studied, the evolution of post-mating reproductive isolation during early stages of ecological speciation remains poorly understood. In diverging three-spined stickleback ecotypes from two lakes and two rivers, we observed differences in sperm traits between lake and river males. Interestingly, these differences did not translate into ecotype-specific gamete precedence for sympatric males in competitive in vitro fertilization experiments, potentially owing to antagonistic compensatory effects. However, we observed indirect evidence for impeded development of inter-ecotype zygotes, possibly suggesting an early stage of genetic incompatibility between ecotypes. Our results show that pre-zygotic post-copulatory mechanisms play a minor role during this first stage of ecotype divergence, but suggest that genetic incompatibilities may arise at early stages of ecological speciation.
Project description:When environments change, populations may adapt surprisingly fast, repeatedly and even at microgeographic scales. There is increasing evidence that such cases of rapid parallel evolution are fueled by standing genetic variation, but the source of this genetic variation remains poorly understood. In the saltmarsh beetle Pogonus chalceus, short-winged 'tidal' and long-winged 'seasonal' ecotypes have diverged in response to contrasting hydrological regimes and can be repeatedly found along the Atlantic European coast. By analyzing genomic variation across the beetles' distribution, we reveal that alleles selected in the tidal ecotype are spread across the genome and evolved during a singular and, likely, geographically isolated divergence event, within the last 190 Kya. Due to subsequent admixture, the ancient and differentially selected alleles are currently polymorphic in most populations across its range, which could potentially allow for the fast evolution of one ecotype from a small number of random individuals, as low as 5 to 15, from a population of the other ecotype. Our results suggest that cases of fast parallel ecological divergence can be the result of evolution at two different time frames: divergence in the past, followed by repeated selection on the same divergently evolved alleles after admixture. These findings highlight the importance of an ancient and, likely, allopatric divergence event for driving the rate and direction of contemporary fast evolution under gene flow. This mechanism is potentially driven by periods of geographic isolation imposed by large-scale environmental changes such as glacial cycles.
Project description:Closely related bacterial genomes usually differ in gene content, suggesting that nearly every strain in nature may be ecologically unique. We have tested this hypothesis by sequencing the genomes of extremely close relatives within a recognized taxon and analyzing the genomes for evidence of ecological distinctness. We compared the genomes of four Death Valley isolates plus the laboratory strain W23, all previously classified as Bacillus subtilis subsp. spizizenii and hypothesized through multilocus analysis to be members of the same ecotype (an ecologically homogeneous population), named putative ecotype 15 (PE15). These strains showed a history of positive selection on amino acid sequences in 38 genes. Each of the strains was under a different regimen of positive selection, suggesting that each strain is ecologically unique and represents a distinct ecological speciation event. The rate of speciation appears to be much faster than can be resolved with multilocus sequencing. Each PE15 strain contained unique genes known to confer a function for bacteria. Remarkably, no unique gene conferred a metabolic system or subsystem function that was not already present in all the PE15 strains sampled. Thus, the origin of ecotypes within this clade shows no evidence of qualitative divergence in the set of resources utilized. Ecotype formation within this clade is consistent with the nanoniche model of bacterial speciation, in which ecotypes use the same set of resources but in different proportions, and genetic cohesion extends beyond a single ecotype to the set of ecotypes utilizing the same resources.
Project description:Ecological speciation is the process by which reproductively isolated populations emerge as a consequence of divergent natural or ecologically-mediated sexual selection. Most genomic studies of ecological speciation have investigated allopatric populations, making it difficult to infer reproductive isolation. The few studies on sympatric ecotypes have focused on advanced stages of the speciation process after thousands of generations of divergence. As a consequence, we still do not know what genomic signatures of the early onset of ecological speciation look like. Here, we examined genomic differentiation among migratory lake and resident stream ecotypes of threespine stickleback reproducing in sympatry in one stream, and in parapatry in another stream. Importantly, these ecotypes started diverging less than 150 years ago. We obtained 34,756 SNPs with restriction-site associated DNA sequencing and identified genomic islands of differentiation using a Hidden Markov Model approach. Consistent with incipient ecological speciation, we found significant genomic differentiation between ecotypes both in sympatry and parapatry. Of 19 islands of differentiation resisting gene flow in sympatry, all were also differentiated in parapatry and were thus likely driven by divergent selection among habitats. These islands clustered in quantitative trait loci controlling divergent traits among the ecotypes, many of them concentrated in one region with low to intermediate recombination. Our findings suggest that adaptive genomic differentiation at many genetic loci can arise and persist in sympatry at the very early stage of ecotype divergence, and that the genomic architecture of adaptation may facilitate this.
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:Lichen Endocarpon pusillum is a highly desiccation-tolerant and dominant species in biological soil crusts in arid and semi-arid regions. We report the draft genome sequence of a lichen-forming fungus, E. pusillum strain KoLRILF000583. The draft genome assembly has a size of 37,173,200 bp with a GC content of 49.71%, consisting of 40 scaffolds.
Project description:Environmental conditions can shape genetic and morphological divergence. Release of new habitats during historical environmental changes was a major driver of evolutionary diversification. Here, forces shaping population structure and ecotype differentiation ('pelagic' and 'coastal') of bottlenose dolphins in the North-east Atlantic were investigated using complementary evolutionary and ecological approaches. Inference of population demographic history using approximate Bayesian computation indicated that coastal populations were likely founded by the Atlantic pelagic population after the Last Glacial Maxima probably as a result of newly available coastal ecological niches. Pelagic dolphins from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea likely diverged during a period of high productivity in the Mediterranean Sea. Genetic differentiation between coastal and pelagic ecotypes may be maintained by niche specializations, as indicated by stable isotope and stomach content analyses, and social behaviour. The two ecotypes were only weakly morphologically segregated in contrast to other parts of the World Ocean. This may be linked to weak contrasts between coastal and pelagic habitats and/or a relatively recent divergence. We suggest that ecological opportunity to specialize is a major driver of genetic and morphological divergence. Combining genetic, ecological and morphological approaches is essential to understanding the population structure of mobile and cryptic species.
Project description:The process of plant speciation often involves the evolution of divergent ecotypes in response to differences in soil water availability between habitats. While the same set of traits is frequently associated with xeric/mesic ecotype divergence, it is unknown whether those traits evolve independently or if they evolve in tandem as a result of genetic colocalization either by pleiotropy or genetic linkage. The self-fertilizing C4 grass species Panicum hallii includes two major ecotypes found in xeric (var. hallii) or mesic (var. filipes) habitats. We constructed the first linkage map for P. hallii by genotyping a reduced representation genomic library of an F2 population derived from an intercross of var. hallii and filipes. We then evaluated the genetic architecture of divergence between these ecotypes through quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. Overall, we mapped QTLs for nine morphological traits that are involved in the divergence between the ecotypes. QTLs for five key ecotype-differentiating traits all colocalized to the same region of linkage group five. Leaf physiological traits were less divergent between ecotypes, but we still mapped five physiological QTLs. We also discovered a two-locus Dobzhansky-Muller hybrid incompatibility. Our study suggests that ecotype-differentiating traits may evolve in tandem as a result of genetic colocalization.
Project description:BACKGROUND:High throughput next-generation sequencing technology has enabled the collection of genome-wide sequence data and revolutionized single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery in a broad range of species. When analyzed within a population genomics framework, SNP-based genotypic data may be used to investigate questions of evolutionary, ecological, and conservation significance in natural populations of non-model organisms. Kokanee salmon are recently diverged freshwater populations of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) that exhibit reproductive ecotypes (stream-spawning and shore-spawning) in lakes throughout western North America and northeast Asia. Current conservation and management strategies may treat these ecotypes as discrete stocks, however their recent divergence and low levels of gene flow make in-season genetic stock identification a challenge. The development of genome-wide SNP markers is an essential step towards fine-scale stock identification, and may enable a direct investigation of the genetic basis of ecotype divergence. RESULTS:We used pooled cDNA samples from both ecotypes of kokanee to generate 750 million base pairs of transcriptome sequence data. These raw data were assembled into 11,074 high coverage contigs from which we identified 32,699 novel single nucleotide polymorphisms. A subset of these putative SNPs was validated using high-resolution melt analysis and Sanger resequencing to genotype independent samples of kokanee and anadromous sockeye salmon. We also identified a number of contigs that were composed entirely of reads from a single ecotype, which may indicate regions of differential gene expression between the two reproductive ecotypes. In addition, we found some evidence for greater pathogen load among the kokanee sampled in stream-spawning habitats, suggesting a possible evolutionary advantage to shore-spawning that warrants further study. CONCLUSIONS:This study provides novel genomic resources to support population genetic and genomic studies of both kokanee and anadromous sockeye salmon, and has the potential to produce markers capable of fine-scale stock assessment. While this RNAseq approach was successful at identifying a large number of new SNP loci, we found that the frequency of alleles present in the pooled transcriptome data was not an accurate predictor of population allele frequencies.