The genomic basis of adaptive evolution in threespine sticklebacks.

Jones FC, Grabherr MG, Chan YF, Russell P, Mauceli E, Johnson J, Swofford R, Pirun M, Zody MC, White S, Birney E, Searle S, Schmutz J, Grimwood J, Dickson MC, Myers RM, Miller CT, Summers BR, Knecht AK, Brady SD, Zhang H, Pollen AA, Howes T, Amemiya C, Broad Institute Genome Sequencing Platform & Whole Genome Assembly Team , Baldwin J, Bloom T, Jaffe DB, Nicol R, Wilkinson J, Lander ES, Di Palma F, Lindblad-Toh K, Kingsley DM

Nature 484 (7392) 55-61 [2012-04-04; online 2012-04-04]

Marine stickleback fish have colonized and adapted to thousands of streams and lakes formed since the last ice age, providing an exceptional opportunity to characterize genomic mechanisms underlying repeated ecological adaptation in nature. Here we develop a high-quality reference genome assembly for threespine sticklebacks. By sequencing the genomes of twenty additional individuals from a global set of marine and freshwater populations, we identify a genome-wide set of loci that are consistently associated with marine-freshwater divergence. Our results indicate that reuse of globally shared standing genetic variation, including chromosomal inversions, has an important role in repeated evolution of distinct marine and freshwater sticklebacks, and in the maintenance of divergent ecotypes during early stages of reproductive isolation. Both coding and regulatory changes occur in the set of loci underlying marine-freshwater evolution, but regulatory changes appear to predominate in this well known example of repeated adaptive evolution in nature.

Affiliated researcher

PubMed 22481358

DOI 10.1038/nature10944

Crossref 10.1038/nature10944

pii: nature10944
pmc: PMC3322419
mid: NIHMS356251
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GEO: GSE34783