Distinguishing Among Modes of Convergent Adaptation Using Population Genomic Data.
ABSTRACT: Geographically separated populations can convergently adapt to the same selection pressure. Convergent evolution at the level of a gene may arise via three distinct modes. The selected alleles can (1) have multiple independent mutational origins, (2) be shared due to shared ancestral standing variation, or (3) spread throughout subpopulations via gene flow. We present a model-based, statistical approach that utilizes genomic data to detect cases of convergent adaptation at the genetic level, identify the loci involved and distinguish among these modes. To understand the impact of convergent positive selection on neutral diversity at linked loci, we make use of the fact that hitchhiking can be modeled as an increase in the variance in neutral allele frequencies around a selected site within a population. We build on coalescent theory to show how shared hitchhiking events between subpopulations act to increase covariance in allele frequencies between subpopulations at loci near the selected site, and extend this theory under different models of migration and selection on the same standing variation. We incorporate this hitchhiking effect into a multivariate normal model of allele frequencies that also accounts for population structure. Based on this theory, we present a composite-likelihood-based approach that utilizes genomic data to identify loci involved in convergence, and distinguishes among alternate modes of convergent adaptation. We illustrate our method on genome-wide polymorphism data from two distinct cases of convergent adaptation. First, we investigate the adaptation for copper toxicity tolerance in two populations of the common yellow monkey flower, Mimulus guttatus We show that selection has occurred on an allele that has been standing in these populations prior to the onset of copper mining in this region. Lastly, we apply our method to data from four populations of the killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus, that show very rapid convergent adaptation for tolerance to industrial pollutants. Here, we identify a single locus at which both independent mutation events and selection on an allele shared via gene flow, either slightly before or during selection, play a role in adaptation across the species' range.
Project description:It has recently been hypothesized that polygenic adaptation, resulting in modest allele frequency changes at many loci, could be a major mechanism behind the adaptation of complex phenotypes in human populations. Here we leverage the large number of variants that have been identified through genome-wide association (GWA) studies to comprehensively study signatures of natural selection on genetic variants associated with complex traits. Using population differentiation based methods, such as FST and phylogenetic branch length analyses, we systematically examined nearly 1300 SNPs associated with 38 complex phenotypes. Instead of detecting selection signatures at individual variants, we aimed to identify combined evidence of natural selection by aggregating signals across many trait associated SNPs. Our results have revealed some general features of polygenic selection on complex traits associated variants. First, natural selection acting on standing variants associated with complex traits is a common phenomenon. Second, characteristics of selection for different polygenic traits vary both temporarily and geographically. Third, some studied traits (e.g. height and urate level) could have been the primary targets of selection, as indicated by the significant correlation between the effect sizes and the estimated strength of selection in the trait associated variants; however, for most traits, the allele frequency changes in trait associated variants might have been driven by the selection on other correlated phenotypes. Fourth, the changes in allele frequencies as a result of selection can be highly stochastic, such that, polygenic adaptation may accelerate differentiation in allele frequencies among populations, but generally does not produce predictable directional changes. Fifth, multiple mechanisms (pleiotropy, hitchhiking, etc) may act together to govern the changes in allele frequencies of genetic variants associated with complex traits.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Examples of rapid evolution are common in nature but difficult to account for with the standard population genetic model of adaptation. Instead, selection from the standing genetic variation permits rapid adaptation via soft sweeps or polygenic adaptation. Empirical evidence of this process in nature is currently limited but accumulating. RESULTS:We provide genome-wide analyses of rapid evolution in Fundulus heteroclitus populations subjected to recently elevated temperatures due to coastal power station thermal effluents using 5449 SNPs across two effluent-affected and four reference populations. Bayesian and multivariate analyses of population genomic structure reveal a substantial portion of genetic variation that is most parsimoniously explained by selection at the site of thermal effluents. An FST outlier approach in conjunction with additional conservative requirements identify significant allele frequency differentiation that exceeds neutral expectations among exposed and closely related reference populations. Genomic variation patterns near these candidate loci reveal that individuals living near thermal effluents have rapidly evolved from the standing genetic variation through small allele frequency changes at many loci in a pattern consistent with polygenic selection on the standing genetic variation. CONCLUSIONS:While the ultimate trajectory of selection in these populations is unknown and we survey only a minority of genomic loci, our findings suggest that polygenic models of adaptation may play important roles in large, natural populations experiencing recent selection due to environmental changes that cause broad physiological impacts.
Project description:The role of natural selection in shaping patterns of diversity is still poorly understood in the Neotropics. We carried out the first genome-wide population genomics study in a Neotropical tree, Handroanthus impetiginosus (Bignoniaceae), sampling 75,838 SNPs by sequence capture in 128 individuals across 13 populations. We found evidences for local adaptation using Bayesian correlations of allele frequency and environmental variables (32 loci in 27 genes) complemented by an analysis of selective sweeps and genetic hitchhiking events using SweepFinder2 (81 loci in 47 genes). Fifteen genes were identified by both approaches. By accounting for population genetic structure, we also found 14 loci with selection signal in a STRUCTURE-defined lineage comprising individuals from five populations, using Outflank. All approaches pinpointed highly diverse and structurally conserved genes affecting plant development and primary metabolic processes. Spatial interpolation forecasted differences in the expected allele frequencies at loci under selection over time, suggesting that H. impetiginosus may track its habitat during climate changes. However, local adaptation through natural selection may also take place, allowing species persistence due to niche evolution. A high genetic differentiation was seen among the H. impetiginosus populations, which, together with the limited power of the experiment, constrains the improved detection of other types of soft selective forces, such as background, balanced, and purifying selection. Small differences in allele frequency distribution among widespread populations and the low number of loci with detectable adaptive sweeps advocate for a polygenic model of adaptation involving a potentially large number of small genome-wide effects.
Project description:Balancing selection is an important evolutionary force that maintains genetic and phenotypic diversity in populations. Most studies in humans have focused on long-standing balancing selection, which persists over long periods of time and is generally shared across populations. But balanced polymorphisms can also promote fast adaptation, especially when the environment changes. To better understand the role of previously balanced alleles in novel adaptations, we analyzed in detail four loci as case examples of this mechanism. These loci show hallmark signatures of long-term balancing selection in African populations, but not in Eurasian populations. The disparity between populations is due to changes in allele frequencies, with intermediate frequency alleles in Africans (likely due to balancing selection) segregating instead at low- or high-derived allele frequency in Eurasia. We explicitly tested the support for different evolutionary models with an approximate Bayesian computation approach and show that the patterns in PKDREJ, SDR39U1, and ZNF473 are best explained by recent changes in selective pressure in certain populations. Specifically, we infer that alleles previously under long-term balancing selection, or alleles linked to them, were recently targeted by positive selection in Eurasian populations. Balancing selection thus likely served as a source of functional alleles that mediated subsequent adaptations to novel environments.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In the process of adaptation of humans to their environment, positive or adaptive selection has played a main role. Positive selection has, however, been under-studied in African populations, despite their diversity and importance for understanding human history. RESULTS:Here, we have used 119 available whole-genome sequences from five Ethiopian populations (Amhara, Oromo, Somali, Wolayta and Gumuz) to investigate the modes and targets of positive selection in this part of the world. The site frequency spectrum-based test SFselect was applied to idfentify a wide range of events of selection (old and recent), and the haplotype-based statistic integrated haplotype score to detect more recent events, in each case with evaluation of the significance of candidate signals by extensive simulations. Additional insights were provided by considering admixture proportions and functional categories of genes. We identified both individual loci that are likely targets of classic sweeps and groups of genes that may have experienced polygenic adaptation. We found population-specific as well as shared signals of selection, with folate metabolism and the related ultraviolet response and skin pigmentation standing out as a shared pathway, perhaps as a response to the high levels of ultraviolet irradiation, and in addition strong signals in genes such as IFNA, MRC1, immunoglobulins and T-cell receptors which contribute to defend against pathogens. CONCLUSIONS:Signals of positive selection were detected in Ethiopian populations revealing novel adaptations in East Africa, and abundant targets for functional follow-up.
Project description:Parallel adaptation is common and may often occur from shared genetic variation, but the genomic consequences of this process remain poorly understood. We first use individual-based simulations to demonstrate that comparisons between populations adapted in parallel to similar environments from shared variation reveal a characteristic genomic signature around a selected locus: a low-divergence valley centred at the locus and flanked by twin peaks of high divergence. This signature is initiated by the hitchhiking of haplotype tracts differing between derived populations in the broader neighbourhood of the selected locus (driving the high-divergence twin peaks) and shared haplotype tracts in the tight neighbourhood of the locus (driving the low-divergence valley). This initial hitchhiking signature is reinforced over time because the selected locus acts as a barrier to gene flow from the source to the derived populations, thus promoting divergence by drift in its close neighbourhood. We next empirically confirm the peak-valley-peak signature by combining targeted and RAD sequence data at three candidate adaptation genes in multiple marine (source) and freshwater (derived) populations of threespine stickleback. Finally, we use a genome-wide screen for the peak-valley-peak signature to discover additional genome regions involved in parallel marine-freshwater divergence. Our findings offer a new explanation for heterogeneous genomic divergence and thus challenge the standard view that peaks in population divergence harbour divergently selected loci and that low-divergence regions result from balancing selection or localized introgression. We anticipate that genome scans for peak-valley-peak divergence signatures will promote the discovery of adaptation genes in other organisms.
Project description:Genomic studies of parallel (or convergent) evolution often compare multiple populations diverged into two ecologically different habitats to search for loci repeatedly involved in adaptation. Because the shared ancestor of these populations is generally unavailable, the source of the alleles at adaptation loci, and the direction in which their frequencies were shifted during evolution, remain elusive. To shed light on these issues, we here use multiple populations of threespine stickleback fish adapted to two different types of derived freshwater habitats-basic and acidic lakes on the island of North Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland-and the present-day proxy of their marine ancestor. In a first step, we combine genome-wide pooled sequencing and targeted individual-level sequencing to demonstrate that ecological and phenotypic parallelism in basic-acidic divergence is reflected by genomic parallelism in dozens of genome regions. Exploiting data from the ancestor, we next show that the acidic populations, residing in ecologically more extreme derived habitats, have adapted by accumulating alleles rare in the ancestor, whereas the basic populations have retained alleles common in the ancestor. Genomic responses to selection are thus predictable from the ecological difference of each derived habitat type from the ancestral one. This asymmetric sorting of standing genetic variation at loci important to basic-acidic divergence has further resulted in more numerous selective sweeps in the acidic populations. Finally, our data suggest that the maintenance in marine fish of standing variation important to adaptive basic-acidic differentiation does not require extensive hybridization between the marine and freshwater populations. Overall, our study reveals striking genome-wide determinism in both the loci involved in parallel divergence, and in the direction in which alleles at these loci have been selected.
Project description:Discovering local adaptation, its genetic underpinnings, and environmental drivers is important for conserving forest species. Ecological genomic approaches coupled with next-generation sequencing are useful means to detect local adaptation and uncover its underlying genetic basis in nonmodel species. We report results from a study on flowering dogwood trees (Cornus florida L.) using genotyping by sequencing (GBS). This species is ecologically important to eastern US forests but is severely threatened by fungal diseases. We analyzed subpopulations in divergent ecological habitats within North Carolina to uncover loci under local selection and associated with environmental-functional traits or disease infection. At this scale, we tested the effect of incorporating additional sequencing before scaling for a broader examination of the entire range. To test for biases of GBS, we sequenced two similarly sampled libraries independently from six populations of three ecological habitats. We obtained environmental-functional traits for each subpopulation to identify associations with genotypes via latent factor mixed modeling (LFMM) and gradient forests analysis. To test whether heterogeneity of abiotic pressures resulted in genetic differentiation indicative of local adaptation, we evaluated Fst per locus while accounting for genetic differentiation between coastal subpopulations and Piedmont-Mountain subpopulations. Of the 54 candidate loci with sufficient evidence of being under selection among both libraries, 28-39 were Arlequin-BayeScan Fst outliers. For LFMM, 45 candidates were associated with climate (of 54), 30 were associated with soil properties, and four were associated with plant health. Reanalysis of combined libraries showed that 42 candidate loci still showed evidence of being under selection. We conclude environment-driven selection on specific loci has resulted in local adaptation in response to potassium deficiencies, temperature, precipitation, and (to a marginal extent) disease. High allele turnover along ecological gradients further supports the adaptive significance of loci speculated to be under selection.
Project description:Strong signatures of positive selection at newly arising genetic variants are well documented in humans(1-8), but this form of selection may not be widespread in recent human evolution(9). Because many human traits are highly polygenic and partly determined by common, ancient genetic variation, an alternative model for rapid genetic adaptation has been proposed: weak selection acting on many pre-existing (standing) genetic variants, or polygenic adaptation(10-12). By studying height, a classic polygenic trait, we demonstrate the first human signature of widespread selection on standing variation. We show that frequencies of alleles associated with increased height, both at known loci and genome wide, are systematically elevated in Northern Europeans compared with Southern Europeans (P < 4.3 × 10(-4)). This pattern mirrors intra-European height differences and is not confounded by ancestry or other ascertainment biases. The systematic frequency differences are consistent with the presence of widespread weak selection (selection coefficients ?10(-3)-10(-5) per allele) rather than genetic drift alone (P < 10(-15)).
Project description:We studied the evolution of high mutation rates and the evolution of fitness in three experimental populations of Escherichia coli adapting to a glucose-limited environment. We identified the mutations responsible for the high mutation rates and show that their rate of substitution in all three populations was too rapid to be accounted for simply by genetic drift. In two of the populations, large gains in fitness relative to the ancestor occurred as the mutator alleles rose to fixation, strongly supporting the conclusion that mutator alleles fixed by hitchhiking with beneficial mutations at other loci. In one population, no significant gain in fitness relative to the ancestor occurred in the population as a whole while the mutator allele rose to fixation, but a substantial and significant gain in fitness occurred in the mutator subpopulation as the mutator neared fixation. The spread of the mutator allele from rarity to fixation took >1000 generations in each population. We show that simultaneous adaptive gains in both the mutator and wild-type subpopulations (clonal interference) retarded the mutator fixation in at least one of the populations. We found little evidence that the evolution of high mutation rates accelerated adaptation in these populations.