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Title: Rapid genetic adaptation to a novel ecosystem despite a large founder event
Abstract

Introduced and invasive species make excellent natural experiments for investigating rapid evolution. Here, we describe the effects of genetic drift and rapid genetic adaptation in pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) that were accidentally introduced to the Great Lakes via a single introduction event 31 generations ago. Using whole‐genome resequencing for 134 fish spanning five sample groups across the native and introduced range, we estimate that the source population's effective population size was 146,886 at the time of introduction, whereas the founding population's effective population size was just 72—a 2040‐fold decrease. As expected with a severe founder event, we show reductions in genome‐wide measures of genetic diversity, specifically a 37.7% reduction in the number of SNPs and an 8.2% reduction in observed heterozygosity. Despite this decline in genetic diversity, we provide evidence for putative selection at 47 loci across multiple chromosomes in the introduced populations, including missense variants in genes associated with circadian rhythm, immunological response and maturation, which match expected or known phenotypic changes in the Great Lakes. For one of these genes, we use a species‐specific agent‐based model to rule out genetic drift and conclude our results support a strong response to selection occurring in a period gene (per2) that plays a predominant role in determining an organism's daily clock, matching large day length differences experienced by introduced salmon during important phenological periods. Together, these results inform how populations might evolve rapidly to new environments, even with a small pool of standing genetic variation.

 
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Award ID(s):
1924537
NSF-PAR ID:
10502309
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Online Library
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Molecular Ecology
ISSN:
0962-1083
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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