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Urbanization often substantially influences animal movement and gene flow. However, few studies to date have examined gene flow of the same species across multiple cities. In this study, we examine brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) to test hypotheses about the repeatability of neutral evolution across four cities: Salvador, Brazil; New Orleans, USA; Vancouver, Canada; New York City, USA. At least 150 rats were sampled from each city and genotyped for a minimum of 15,000 genome-wide SNPs. Levels of genome-wide diversity were similar across cities, but varied across neighborhoods within cities. All four populations exhibited high spatial autocorrelation at the shortest distance classes (< 500 m) due to limited dispersal. Coancestry and evolutionary clustering analyses identified genetic discontinuities within each city that coincided with a resource desert in New York City, major waterways in New Orleans, and roads in Salvador and Vancouver. Such replicated studies are crucial to assessing the generality of predictions from urban evolution, and have practical applications for pest management and public health. Future studies should include a range of global cities in different biomes, incorporate multiple species, and examine the impact of specific characteristics of the built environment and human socioeconomics on gene flow.
Data Types:
  • Geospatial Data
  • Sequencing Data
The discernment of populations as management units is a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable exploitation of species. A lack of clear stock boundaries complicates not only the identification of spatial management units, but also the assessment of mixed fisheries by population assignment and mixed stock analysis. Many marine species, such as Pacific cod, are characterized by isolation-by-distance, showing significant differentiation but no clear stock boundaries. Here, we used restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing to investigate population structure and assess power to genetically assign Pacific cod to putative populations of origin. Samples were collected across the species range in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, from the Salish Sea to the Aleutian Islands. A total of 6,425 putative biallelic single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified from 276 individuals. We found a strong isolation-by-distance signal along coastlines that mirrored previous microsatellite results, and pronounced genetic differentiation between coastal samples and those from the inland waters of the Salish Sea with no evidence for hybridization between these two populations. Individual assignment success based on two methods was high overall (≥ 84%) but decreased from south to north. Assignment to geographic location of origin also was successful, with average distance between capture and assignment location of 220 km. Outlier analyses identified more loci potentially under selection along the coast than between Salish Sea and coast samples, suggesting more diverse adaptation to latitudinal environmental factors than inshore vs offshore environments. Our results confirm previous observations of sharp genetic differentiation of the Salish Sea population and isolation-by-distance along the coast, but also highlight the feasibility of using modern genomic techniques to inform stock boundaries and fisheries management in a low FST marine species.
Data Types:
  • Geospatial Data
  • Sequencing Data
  • Text
Two subspecies of the house mouse, Mus musculus domesticus and Mus musculus musculus, meet in a narrow contact zone across Europe. Mice in the hybrid zone are highly admixed, representing the full range of mixed ancestry from the two subspecies. Given the distinct morphologies of these subspecies, these natural hybrids can be used for genome-wide association mapping at sufficiently high resolution to directly infer candidate genes. We focus here on limb bone length differences, which is of special interest for understanding the evolution of developmentally correlated traits. We used 172 first-generation descendants of wild-caught mice from the hybrid zone to measure the length of stylopod (humerus / femur), zeugopod (ulna / tibia) and autopod (metacarpal / metatarsal) elements in skeletal CT scans. We find phenotypic covariation between limb elements in the hybrids similar to patterns previously described in M. m. domesticus inbred strains, suggesting that the hybrid genotypes do not influence the covariation pattern in a major way. Mapping was performed using 143,592 SNPs and identified several genomic regions associated with length differences in each bone. Each candidate region explains only a small proportion of phenotypic variance, suggesting that bone length is highly polygenic. None of the candidate regions includes the canonical genes known to control embryonic limb development. Instead, we are able to identify candidate genes with known roles in osteoblast differentiation and bone structure determination, as well as recently evolved genes of, as yet, unknown function.
Data Types:
  • Software/Code
  • Geospatial Data
  • Sequencing Data
  • Text
Plate tectonics and sediment processes control regional continental shelf topography. We examine the genetic consequences of how glacial-associated sea-level change interacted with variable near-shore topography since the last glaciation. We reconstructed the size and distribution of areas suitable for tidal estuary formation from the Last Glacial Maximum, ~20 thousand years ago, to present from San Francisco, California, USA (~38 °N) to Reforma, Sinaloa, Mexico (~25 °N). We assessed range-wide genetic structure and diversity of three co-distributed tidal estuarine fishes (California Killifish, Shadow Goby, Longjaw Mudsucker) along ~4,600 km using mitochondrial control region and cytB sequence, and 16–20 microsatellite loci from a total of 524 individuals. Results show that glacial-associated sea-level change limited estuarine habitat to few, widely separated refugia at glacial lowstand, and present-day genetic clades were sourced from specific refugia. Habitat increased during postglacial sea-level rise and refugial populations admixed in newly formed habitats. Continental shelves with active tectonics and/or low sediment supply were steep and hosted fewer, smaller refugia with more genetically differentiated populations than on broader shelves. Approximate Bayesian computation favored the refuge-recolonization scenarios from habitat models over isolation by distance and seaway alternatives, indicating isolation at lowstand is a major diversification mechanism among estuarine (and perhaps other) coastal species. Because sea-level change is a global phenomenon, we suggest this top-down physical control of extirpation-isolation-recolonization may be an important driver of genetic diversification in coastal taxa inhabiting other topographically complex coasts globally during the Mid- to Late Pleistocene and deeper timescales.
Data Types:
  • Software/Code
  • Geospatial Data
  • Tabular Data
  • Text
Background: Populations of herbivorous insects may become genetically differentiated because of local adaptation to different hosts and climates as well as historical processes, and further genetic divergence may occur following the development of reproductive isolation among populations. Here we investigate the population genetic structure of the orchard pest peach fruit moth (PFM) Carposina sasakii (Lepidoptera: Carposinidae) in China, which shows distinct biological differences when characterized from different host plants. Genetic diversity and genetic structure were assessed among populations from seven plant hosts and nine regions using 19 microsatellite loci and a mitochondrial sequence. Results: Strong genetic differentiation was found among geographical populations representing distinct geographical regions, but not in host-associated populations collected from the same area. Mantel tests based on microsatellite loci indicated an association between genetic differentiation and geographical distance, and to a lesser extent environmental differentiation. Approximate Bayesian Computation analyses supported the scenario that PFM likely originated from a southern area and dispersed northwards before the last glacial maximum during the Quaternary. Conclusions: Our analyses suggested a strong impact of geographical barriers and historical events rather than host plants on the genetic structure of the PFM; however, uncharacterized environmental factors and host plants may also play a role. Studies on adaptive shifts in this moth should take into account geographical and historical factors.
Data Types:
  • Geospatial Data
  • Sequencing Data
  • Text
Accurate pathogen detection is essential for developing management strategies to address emerging infectious diseases, an increasingly prominent threat to wildlife. Sampling for free-living pathogens outside of their hosts has benefits for inference and study efficiency, but is still uncommon. We used a laboratory experiment to evaluate the influences of pathogen concentration, water type, and qPCR inhibitors on the detection and quantification of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) using water filtration. We compared results pre- and post-inhibitor removal, and assessed inferential differences when single versus multiple samples were collected across space or time. We found that qPCR inhibition influenced both Bd detection and quantification in natural water samples, resulting in biased inferences about Bd occurrence and abundance. Biases in occurrence could be mitigated by collecting multiple samples in space or time, but biases in Bd quantification were persistent. Differences in Bd concentration resulted in variation in detection probability, indicating that occupancy modeling could be used to explore factors influencing heterogeneity in Bd abundance among samples, sites, or over time. Our work will influence the design of studies involving amphibian disease dynamics and studies utilizing environmental DNA (eDNA) to understand species distributions.
Data Types:
  • Geospatial Data
  • Tabular Data
The East African Shorthorn Zebu (EASZ) cattle are ancient hybrid between Asian zebu × African taurine cattle preferred by local farmers due to their adaptability to the African environment. The genetic controls of these adaptabilities are not clearly understood yet. Here, we genotyped 92 EASZ samples from Kenya (KEASZ) with more than 770,000 SNPs and sequenced the genome of a pool of 10 KEASZ. We observe an even admixed autosomal zebu × taurine genomic structure in the population. A total of 101 and 165 candidate regions of positive selection, based on genome-wide SNP analyses (meta-SS, Rsb, iHS, and ΔAF) and pooled heterozygosity (Hp) full genome sequence analysis, are identified, in which 35 regions are shared between them. A total of 142 functional variants, one novel, have been detected within these regions, in which 30 and 26 were classified as of zebu and African taurine origins, respectively. High density genome-wide SNP analysis of zebu × taurine admixed cattle populations from Uganda and Nigeria show that 25 of these regions are shared between KEASZ and Uganda cattle, and seven regions are shared across the KEASZ, Uganda, and Nigeria cattle. The identification of common candidate regions allows us to fine map 18 regions. These regions intersect with genes and QTL associated with reproduction and environmental stress (e.g., immunity and heat stress) suggesting that the genome of the zebu × taurine admixed cattle has been uniquely selected to maximize hybrid fitness both in terms of reproduction and survivability.
Data Types:
  • Geospatial Data
  • File Set
Genetic rescue, outcrossing with individuals from a related population, is used to augment genetic diversity in populations threatened by severe inbreeding and extinction. The endangered Norwegian Lundehund dog (henceforth Lundehund) underwent at least two severe bottlenecks in the 1940s and 1960s that each left only five inbred dogs, and the approximately 1500 dogs remaining world-wide today appear to descend from only two individuals. The Lundehund has a high prevalence of a gastrointestinal disease, to which all remaining dogs may be predisposed. Outcrossing is currently performed with three Nordic Spitz breeds: Norwegian Buhund, Icelandic Sheepdog, and Norrbottenspets. Examination of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes based on 165K loci in 48 dogs from the four breeds revealed substantially lower genetic diversity for the Lundehund (HE 0.035) than for other breeds (HE 0.209-0.284). Analyses of genetic structure with 16K linkage disequilibrium-pruned SNPs showed four distinct genetic clusters. Pairwise FST values between Lundehund and the candidate breeds were highest for Icelandic Sheepdog, followed by Buhund and Norrbottenspets. We assessed the presence of outlier loci among candidate breeds and examined flanking genome regions (1 megabase) for genes under possible selection to identify potential adaptive differences among breeds; outliers were observed in flanking regions of genes associated with key functions including the immune system, metabolism, cognition and physical development. We suggest crossbreeding with multiple breeds as the best strategy to increase genetic diversity for the Lundehund and reduce the incidence of health problems. For this project, the three candidate breeds were first selected based on phenotypes and then subject to genetic investigation. Because phenotypes are often paramount for domestic breed owners, such a strategy could provide a helpful approach for genetic rescue and restoration of other domestic populations at risk, by ensuring the involvement of owners, breeders and managers at the start of the project.
Data Types:
  • Geospatial Data
  • Sequencing Data
  • Text
Whole genome duplications are major evolutionary events with a lasting impact on genome structure. Duplication events complicate genetic analyses as paralogous sequences are difficult to distinguish; consequently paralogs are often excluded from studies. The effects of an ancient whole genome duplication (approximately 88MYA) are still evident in salmonids through the persistence of numerous paralogous gene sequences and partial tetrasomic inheritance. We use restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) on ten collections of chum salmon from the Salish Sea in the USA and Canada to investigate genetic diversity and population structure in both tetrasomic and re-diploidized regions of the genome. We use a pedigree and high-density linkage map to identify paralogous loci and to investigate genetic variation across the genome. By applying multivariate statistical methods, we show that it is possible to characterize paralogous genetic loci and that they display similar patterns of population structure as the diploidized portion of the genome. We find genetic associations with the adaptively important trait of run timing in both sets of loci. By including paralogous loci in genome scans, we can observe evolutionary signals in genomic regions that have routinely been excluded from population genetic studies in other polyploid-derived species.
Data Types:
  • Geospatial Data
  • Sequencing Data
  • Tabular Data
  • Text
Previous genetic studies of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts have reported weak or temporally variable spatial structure, suggesting high gene flow among distant populations possibly facilitated by long-distance larval dispersal or other features of blue crab life history. The use of relatively few genetic markers, however, may have limited power to detect subtle but significant structure that could inform fisheries management. In this study, the potential for genome-scale datasets to uncover subtle patterns of population structure in the blue crab was examined using a high-throughput genotyping approach (genotyping-by-sequencing) that generated data for more than 9,600 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in crabs from three populations: Panama City Beach, FL, Agawam River, MA, and Porto Alegre, Brazil. Principle components analyses among the three populations revealed very distinct clustering of the Brazilian samples from U.S. populations, likely reflecting restricted gene flow across the equator. Detailed analysis of population structure between the two U.S. populations revealed low but significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.0103), with FST values ranging from -0.05 to 0.48. Previous studies have failed to detect significant genetic structure on a similar geographic scale. FST outlier analysis identified 242 loci (2.45% of total) with statistically extreme values at the false discovery rate α = 0.05 level, only 16 of which showed significant sequence homology to annotated proteins via BLASTx alignment. Top BLASTx hits were to crustacean or arthropod sequences and 8 of the 16 had high sequence similarity to transposable elements or related machinery. Finally, results of population assignment tests for the two U.S. populations showed that the full marker dataset provided good power to assign individuals back to their population of origin (∼83% and 92% success for Panama City Beach and Agawam River, respectively), which dropped significantly when using only 500 randomly selected SNPs (∼61% and 72% success). Overall, this study demonstrates the great utility of high-throughput sequencing technologies for characterizing fine-scale patterns of genetic structure in blue crabs, and this approach should substantially improve the delineation of stock structure and further advance our understanding of blue crab population connectivity and ecology.
Data Types:
  • Geospatial Data
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