The maintenance of standing genetic variation: Gene flow vs. selective neutrality in Atlantic stickleback fish

Haenel, Quiterie and Guerard, Laurent and MacColl, Andrew D. C. and Berner, Daniel. (2021) The maintenance of standing genetic variation: Gene flow vs. selective neutrality in Atlantic stickleback fish. Molecular ecology, 31 (3). pp. 811-821.

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Adaptation to derived habitats often occurs from standing genetic variation. The maintenance within ancestral populations of genetic variants favourable in derived habitats is commonly ascribed to long-term antagonism between purifying selection and gene flow resulting from hybridization across habitats. A largely unexplored alternative idea based on quantitative genetic models of polygenic adaptation is that variants favoured in derived habitats are neutral in ancestral populations when their frequency is relatively low. To explore the latter, we first identify genetic variants important to the adaptation of threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) to a rare derived habitat-nutrient-depleted acidic lakes-based on whole-genome sequence data. Sequencing marine stickleback from six locations across the Atlantic Ocean then allows us to infer that the frequency of these derived variants in the ancestral habitat is unrelated to the likely opportunity for gene flow of these variants from acidic-adapted populations. This result is consistent with the selective neutrality of derived variants within the ancestor. Our study thus supports an underappreciated explanation for the maintenance of standing genetic variation, and calls for a better understanding of the fitness consequences of adaptive variation across habitats and genomic backgrounds.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Services Biozentrum > Imaging Core Facility (Biehlmaier)
UniBasel Contributors:Guerard, Laurent and Berner, Daniel and Haenel, Quiterie
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:03 Mar 2022 14:46
Deposited On:03 Mar 2022 14:46

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