Genetic Drift Shapes the Evolution of a Highly Dynamic Metapopulation

Angst, Pascal and Ameline, Camille and Haag, Christoph R. and Ben-Ami, Frida and Ebert, Dieter and Fields, Peter D.. (2023) Genetic Drift Shapes the Evolution of a Highly Dynamic Metapopulation. Molecular Biology and Evolution , 39 (12). msac264.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/93111/

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The dynamics of extinction and (re)colonization in habitat patches are characterizing features of dynamic metapopulations, causing them to evolve differently than large, stable populations. The propagule model, which assumes genetic bottlenecks during colonization, posits that newly founded subpopulations have low genetic diversity and are genetically highly differentiated from each other. Immigration may then increase diversity and decrease differentiation between subpopulations. Thus, older and/or less isolated subpopulations are expected to have higher genetic diversity and less genetic differentiation. We tested this theory using whole-genome pool-sequencing to characterize nucleotide diversity and differentiation in 60 subpopulations of a natural metapopulation of the cyclical parthenogen Daphnia magna. For comparison, we characterized diversity in a single, large, and stable D. magna population. We found reduced (synonymous) genomic diversity, a proxy for effective population size, weak purifying selection, and low rates of adaptive evolution in the metapopulation compared with the large, stable population. These differences suggest that genetic bottlenecks during colonization reduce effective population sizes, which leads to strong genetic drift and reduced selection efficacy in the metapopulation. Consistent with the propagule model, we found lower diversity and increased differentiation in younger and also in more isolated subpopulations. Our study sheds light on the genomic consequences of extinction-(re)colonization dynamics to an unprecedented degree, giving strong support for the propagule model. We demonstrate that the metapopulation evolves differently from a large, stable population and that evolution is largely driven by genetic drift.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Ebert)
UniBasel Contributors:Ebert, Dieter and Ameline, Camille and Angst, Pascal and Fields, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:21 Feb 2023 14:28
Deposited On:21 Feb 2023 14:28

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