Rapid adaptation through genomic and epigenomic responses following translocations in an endangered salmonid

Crotti, M., Yohannes, E., Winfield, I. J., Lyle, A. A., Adams, C. E. and Elmer, K. R. (2021) Rapid adaptation through genomic and epigenomic responses following translocations in an endangered salmonid. Evolutionary Applications, 14(10), pp. 2470-2489. (doi: 10.1111/eva.13267) (PMID:34745338) (PMCID:PMC8549615)

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Identifying the molecular mechanisms facilitating adaptation to new environments is a key question in evolutionary biology, especially in the face of current rapid and human-induced changes. Translocations have become an important tool for species conservation, but the attendant small population sizes and new ecological pressures might affect phenotypic and genotypic variation and trajectories dramatically and in unknown ways. In Scotland, the European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) is native to only two lakes and vulnerable to extirpation. Six new refuge populations were established over the last 30 years as a conservation measure. In this study we examined whether there is a predictable ecological and evolutionary response of these fishes to translocation. We found eco-morphological differences, as functional traits relating to body shape differed between source and refuge populations. Isotopic analyses suggested some ecological release, with the diets more diverse in refuge populations than in source populations. Analyses of up to 9,117 genome-mapped SNPs showed that refuge populations had reduced genetic diversity and elevated inbreeding and relatedness relative to source populations, though genomic differentiation was low (FST = 0.002 – 0.030). We identified 14 genomic SNPs that showed shared signals of a selective response to translocations, including some located near or within genes involved in the immune system, nervous system, and hepatic functions. Analysis of up to 120,897 epigenomic loci identified a component of consistent differential methylation between source and refuge populations. We found that epigenomic and genomic variation were associated with morphological variation, but we were not able to infer an effect of translocation age because the patterns were also linked with the methodology of the translocations. These results show that conservation-driven translocations affect evolutionary potential by impacting both eco-morphological, genomic, and epigenomic components of diversity, shedding light on acclimation and adaptation process in these contexts.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Crotti, Marco and Elmer, Professor Kathryn and Adams, Professor Colin and Lyle, Mr Alexander
Authors: Crotti, M., Yohannes, E., Winfield, I. J., Lyle, A. A., Adams, C. E., and Elmer, K. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Evolutionary Applications
ISSN (Online):1752-4571
Published Online:11 June 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Evolutionary Applications 14(10): 2470-2489
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.1078

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190536Integrated Health - Polyomics and Systems Biomedicine (ISSF Bid)Anna DominiczakWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)097821/Z/11/ZInstitute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences