skip to main content

Title: A vertebrate adaptive radiation is assembled from an ancient and disjunct spatiotemporal landscape

To investigate the origins and stages of vertebrate adaptive radiation, we reconstructed the spatial and temporal histories of adaptive alleles underlying major phenotypic axes of diversification from the genomes of 202 Caribbean pupfishes. On a single Bahamian island, ancient standing variation from disjunct geographic sources was reassembled into new combinations under strong directional selection for adaptation to the novel trophic niches of scale-eating and molluscivory. We found evidence for two longstanding hypotheses of adaptive radiation: hybrid swarm origins and temporal stages of adaptation. Using a combination of population genomics, transcriptomics, and genome-wide association mapping, we demonstrate that this microendemic adaptive radiation of novel trophic specialists on San Salvador Island, Bahamas experienced twice as much adaptive introgression as generalist populations on neighboring islands and that adaptive divergence occurred in stages. First, standing regulatory variation in genes associated with feeding behavior (prlh,cfap20, andrmi1) were swept to fixation by selection, then standing regulatory variation in genes associated with craniofacial and muscular development (itga5,ext1,cyp26b1, andgalr2) and finally the only de novo nonsynonymous substitution in an osteogenic transcription factor and oncogene (twist1) swept to fixation most recently. Our results demonstrate how ancient alleles maintained in distinct environmental refugia can be assembled into new adaptive combinations more » and provide a framework for reconstructing the spatiotemporal landscape of adaptation and speciation.

« less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. e2011811118
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Wittkopp, Patricia (Ed.)
    Abstract Investigating closely related species that rapidly evolved divergent feeding morphology is a powerful approach to identify genetic variation underlying variation in complex traits. This can also lead to the discovery of novel candidate genes influencing natural and clinical variation in human craniofacial phenotypes. We combined whole-genome resequencing of 258 individuals with 50 transcriptomes to identify candidate cis-acting genetic variation underlying rapidly evolving craniofacial phenotypes within an adaptive radiation of Cyprinodon pupfishes. This radiation consists of a dietary generalist species and two derived trophic niche specialists—a molluscivore and a scale-eating species. Despite extensive morphological divergence, these species only diverged 10 kya and produce fertile hybrids in the laboratory. Out of 9.3 million genome-wide SNPs and 80,012 structural variants, we found very few alleles fixed between species—only 157 SNPs and 87 deletions. Comparing gene expression across 38 purebred F1 offspring sampled at three early developmental stages, we identified 17 fixed variants within 10 kb of 12 genes that were highly differentially expressed between species. By measuring allele-specific expression in F1 hybrids from multiple crosses, we found that the majority of expression divergence between species was explained by trans-regulatory mechanisms. We also found strong evidence for two cis-regulatory alleles affecting expression divergencemore »of two genes with putative effects on skeletal development (dync2li1 and pycr3). These results suggest that SNPs and structural variants contribute to the evolution of novel traits and highlight the utility of the San Salvador Island pupfish system as an evolutionary model for craniofacial development.« less
  2. Introgressive hybridization can affect the evolution of populations in several important ways. It may retard or reverse divergence of species, enable the development of novel traits, enhance the potential for future evolution by elevating levels of standing variation, create new species, and alleviate inbreeding depression in small populations. Most of what is known of contemporary hybridization in nature comes from the study of pairs of species, either coexisting in the same habitat or distributed parapatrically and separated by a hybrid zone. More rarely, three species form an interbreeding complex (triad), reported in vertebrates, insects, and plants. Often, one species acts as a genetic link or conduit for the passage of genes (alleles) between two others that rarely, if ever, hybridize. Demographic and genetic consequences are unknown. Here we report results of a long-term study of interbreeding Darwin’s finches on Daphne Major island, Galápagos.Geospiza fortisacted as a conduit for the passage of genes between two others that have never been observed to interbreed on Daphne:Geospiza fuliginosa, a rare immigrant, andGeospiza scandens, a resident. Microsatellite gene flow fromG. fortisintoG. scandensincreased in frequency during 30 y of favorable ecological conditions, resulting in genetic and morphological convergence.G. fortis,G. scandens, and the derived dihybrids andmore »trihybrids experienced approximately equal fitness. Especially relevant to young adaptive radiations, where species differ principally in ecology and behavior, these findings illustrate how new combinations of genes created by hybridization among three species can enhance the potential for evolutionary change.

    « less
  3. Adaptive radiations involve astounding bursts of phenotypic, ecological and species diversity. However, the microevolutionary processes that underlie the origins of these bursts are still poorly understood. We report the discovery of an intermediate C. sp. ‘wide-mouth’ scale-eating ecomorph in a sympatric radiation of Cyprinodon pupfishes, illuminating the transition from a widespread algae-eating generalist to a novel microendemic scale-eating specialist. We first show that this ecomorph occurs in sympatry with generalist C. variegatus and scale-eating specialist C. desquamator on San Salvador Island, Bahamas, but is genetically differentiated, morphologically distinct and often consumes scales. We then compared the timing of selective sweeps on shared and unique adaptive variants in trophic specialists to characterize their adaptive walk. Shared adaptive regions swept first in both the specialist desquamator and the intermediate ‘wide-mouth’ ecomorph, followed by unique sweeps of introgressed variation in ‘wide-mouth’ and de novo variation in desquamator . The two scale-eating populations additionally shared 9% of their hard selective sweeps with the molluscivore C. brontotheroides , despite no single common ancestor among specialists. Our work provides a new microevolutionary framework for investigating how major ecological transitions occur and illustrates how both shared and unique genetic variation can provide a bridge for multiple speciesmore »to access novel ecological niches.« less
  4. Host–parasite coevolution can maintain high levels of genetic diversity in traits involved in species interactions. In many systems, host traits exploited by parasites are constrained by use in other functions, leading to complex selective pressures across space and time. Here, we study genome-wide variation in the staple cropSorghum bicolor(L.) Moench and its association with the parasitic weedStriga hermonthica(Delile) Benth., a major constraint to food security in Africa. We hypothesize that geographic selection mosaics across gradients of parasite occurrence maintain genetic diversity in sorghum landrace resistance. Suggesting a role in local adaptation to parasite pressure, multiple independent loss-of-function alleles at sorghumLOW GERMINATION STIMULANT 1 (LGS1)are broadly distributed among African landraces and geographically associated withS. hermonthicaoccurrence. However, low frequency of these alleles withinS. hermonthica-prone regions and their absence elsewhere implicate potential trade-offs restricting their fixation.LGS1is thought to cause resistance by changing stereochemistry of strigolactones, hormones that control plant architecture and below-ground signaling to mycorrhizae and are required to stimulate parasite germination. Consistent with trade-offs, we find signatures of balancing selection surroundingLGS1and other candidates from analysis of genome-wide associations with parasite distribution. Experiments with CRISPR–Cas9-edited sorghum further indicate that the benefit ofLGS1-mediated resistance strongly depends on parasite genotype and abiotic environment and comesmore »at the cost of reduced photosystem gene expression. Our study demonstrates long-term maintenance of diversity in host resistance genes across smallholder agroecosystems, providing a valuable comparison to both industrial farming systems and natural communities.

    « less
  5. Abstract

    Despite extensive research on agricultural pests, our knowledge about their evolutionary history is often limited. A mechanistic understanding of the demographic changes and modes of adaptation remains an important goal, as it improves our understanding of organismal responses to environmental change and our ability to sustainably manage pest populations. Emerging genomic datasets now allow for characterization of demographic and adaptive processes, but face limits when they are drawn from contemporary samples, especially in the context of strong demographic change, repeated selection, or adaptation involving modest shifts in allele frequency at many loci. Temporal sampling, however, can improve our ability to reconstruct evolutionary events. Here, we leverage museum samples to examine whether population genomic diversity and structure has changed over time, and to identify genomic regions that appear to be under selection. We focus on the Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say 1824; Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), which is widely regarded as a super-pest due to its rapid, and repeated, evolution to insecticides. By combining whole genome resequencing data from 78 museum samples with modern sampling, we demonstrate that CPB expanded rapidly in the 19th century, leading to a reduction in diversity and limited genetic structure from the Midwest to Northeastmore »United States. Temporal genome scans provide extensive evidence for selection acting in resistant field populations in Wisconsin and New York, including numerous known insecticide resistance genes. We also validate these results by showing that known selective sweeps in modern populations are identified by our genome scan. Perhaps most importantly, temporal analysis indicates selection on standing genetic variation, as we find evidence for parallel evolution in the two geographical regions. Parallel evolution involves a range of phenotypic traits not previously identified as under selection in CPB, such as reproductive and morphological functional pathways that might be important for adaptation to agricultural habitats.

    « less