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  1. Abstract

    How repeatable is evolution at genomic and phenotypic scales? We studied the repeatability of evolution during 8 generations of colonization using replicated microcosm experiments with the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Based on the patterns of shared allele frequency changes that occurred in populations from the same generation or experimental location, we found adaptive evolution to be more repeatable in the introduction and establishment phases of colonization than in the spread phase, when populations expand their range. Lastly, by studying changes in allele frequencies at conserved loci, we found evidence for the theoretical prediction that range expansion reduces the efficiency of selection to purge deleterious alleles. Overall, our results increase our understanding of adaptive evolution during colonization, demonstrating that evolution can be highly repeatable while also showing that stochasticity still plays an important role.

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  2. Springer, Mark (Ed.)
    Abstract Despite the increasing feasibility of sequencing whole genomes from diverse taxa, a persistent problem in phylogenomics is the selection of appropriate genetic markers or loci for a given taxonomic group or research question. In this review, we aim to streamline the decision-making process when selecting specific markers to use in phylogenomic studies by introducing commonly used types of genomic markers, their evolutionary characteristics, and their associated uses in phylogenomics. Specifically, we review the utilities of ultraconserved elements (including flanking regions), anchored hybrid enrichment loci, conserved nonexonic elements, untranslated regions, introns, exons, mitochondrial DNA, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and anonymous regions (nonspecific regions that are evenly or randomly distributed across the genome). These various genomic elements and regions differ in their substitution rates, likelihood of neutrality or of being strongly linked to loci under selection, and mode of inheritance, each of which are important considerations in phylogenomic reconstruction. These features may give each type of marker important advantages and disadvantages depending on the biological question, number of taxa sampled, evolutionary timescale, cost effectiveness, and analytical methods used. We provide a concise outline as a resource to efficiently consider key aspects of each type of genetic marker. There are many factors to consider when designing phylogenomic studies, and this review may serve as a primer when weighing options between multiple potential phylogenomic markers. 
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  3. Abstract

    Conspecific populations living in adjacent but contrasting microenvironments represent excellent systems for studying natural selection. These systems are valuable because gene flow is expected to force genetic homogeneity except at loci experiencing divergent selection. A history of reciprocal transplant and common garden studies in such systems, and a growing number of genomic studies, have contributed to understanding how selection operates in natural populations. While selection can vary across different fitness components and life stages, few studies have investigated how this ultimately affects allele frequencies and the maintenance of divergence between populations. Here, we study two sunflower ecotypes in distinct, adjacent habitats by combining demographic models with genome‐wide sequence data to estimate fitness and allele frequency change at multiple life stages. This framework allows us to estimate that only local ecotypes are likely to experience positive population growth (λ > 1) and that the maintenance of divergent adaptation appears to be mediated via habitat‐ and life stage‐specific selection. We identify genetic variation, significantly driven by loci in chromosomal inversions, associated with different life history strategies in neighbouring ecotypes that optimize different fitness components and may contribute to the maintenance of distinct ecotypes.

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  4. Premise

    Lichens are fungi that enter into obligate symbioses with photosynthesizing organisms (algae, cyanobacteria). Traditional narratives of lichens as binary symbiont pairs have given way to their recognition as dynamic metacommunities. Basidiomycete yeasts, particularly of the genusCyphobasidium, have been inferred to be widespread and important components of lichen metacommunities. Yet, the presence of basidiomycete yeasts across a wide diversity of lichen lineages has not previously been tested.


    We searched for lichen‐associated cystobasidiomycete yeasts in newly generated metagenomic data from 413 samples of 339 lichen species spanning 57 families and 25 orders. The data set was generated as part of a large‐scale project to study lichen biodiversity gradients in the southern Appalachian Mountains Biodiversity Hotspot of southeastern North America.


    Our efforts detected cystobasidiomycete yeasts in nine taxa (Bryoria nadvornikiana,Heterodermia leucomelos,Lecidea roseotincta,Opegrapha vulgata,Parmotrema hypotropum,P. subsumptum,Usnea cornuta,U. strigosa, andU. subgracilis), representing 2.7% of all species sampled. Seven of these taxa (78%) are foliose (leaf‐like) or fruticose (shrubby) lichens that belong to families where basidiomycete yeasts have been previously detected. In several of the nine cases, cystobasidiomycete rDNA coverage was comparable to, or greater than, that of the primary lichen fungus single‐copy nuclear genomic rDNA, suggesting sampling artifacts are unlikely to account for our results.


    Studies from diverse areas of the natural sciences have led to the need to reconceptualize lichens as dynamic metacommunities. However, our failure to detect cystobasidiomycetes in 97.3% (330 species) of the sampled species suggests that basidiomycete yeasts are not ubiquitous in lichens.

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  5. Abstract

    Phenotypic differentiation plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of reproductive barriers. In some cases, variation in a few key aspects of phenotype can promote and maintain divergence; hence, the identification of these traits and their associations with patterns of genomic divergence is crucial for understanding the patterns and processes of population differentiation. We studied hybridization between thealbaandpersonatasubspecies of the white wagtail (Motacilla alba), and quantified divergence and introgression of multiple morphological traits and 19,437SNPloci on a 3,000 km transect. Our goal was to identify traits that may contribute to reproductive barriers and to assess how variation in these traits corresponds to patterns of genome‐wide divergence. Variation in only one trait—head plumage patterning—was consistent with reproductive isolation. Transitions in head plumage were steep and occurred over otherwise morphologically and genetically homogeneous populations, whereas cline centres for other traits and genomic ancestry were displaced over 100 km from the head cline. Field observational data show that social pairs mated assortatively by head plumage, suggesting that these phenotypes are maintained by divergent mating preferences. In contrast, variation in all other traits and genetic markers could be explained by neutral diffusion, although weak ecological selection cannot be ruled out. Our results emphasize that assortative mating may maintain phenotypic differences independent of other processes shaping genome‐wide variation, consistent with other recent findings that raise questions about the relative importance of mate choice, ecological selection and selectively neutral processes for divergent evolution.

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  6. Abstract

    Hybrid zones are geographic regions where isolating barriers between divergent populations are challenged by admixture. Identifying factors that facilitate or inhibit hybridization in sympatry can illuminate the processes that maintain those reproductive barriers. We analysed patterns of hybridization and phenotypic variation across two newly discovered hybrid zones between three subspecies of barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). These subspecies differ in ventral coloration and wing length, traits that are targets of sexual and natural selection, respectively, and are associated with genome‐wide differentiation in allopatry. We tested the hypothesis that the degree of divergence in these traits is associated with the extent of hybridization in secondary contact. We applied measures of population structure based on >23,000SNPs to confirm that named subspecies correspond to distinct genomic clusters, and assessed coincidence between geographic clines for ancestry and phenotype. Although gene flow was ongoing across both hybrid zones and pairwiseFSTbetween subspecies was extremely low, we found striking differences in the extent of hybridization. In the more phenotypically differentiated subspecies pair, clines for ancestry, wing length and ventral coloration were steep and coincident, suggestive of strong isolation and, potentially, selection associated with phenotype. In the less phenotypically differentiated pair, gene flow and phenotypic variation occurred over a wide geographic span, indicative of weaker isolation. Traits associated with genome‐wide differentiation in allopatry may thus also contribute to isolation in sympatry. We discuss potentially important additional roles for evolutionary history and ecology in shaping variation in the extent hybridization between closely related pairs of subspecies.

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