Apr 9, 2020

Testing the caves-as-islands model in two cave-obligate invertebrates with a genomic approach

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
A. BaloghK. S. Zigler


Caves offer selective pressures that are distinct from the surface. Organisms that have evolved to exist under these pressures typically exhibit a suite of convergent characteristics, including a loss or reduction of eyes and pigmentation. As a result, cave-obligate taxa, termed troglobionts, are no longer viable on the surface. This circumstance has led to a ''caves as islands'' model of troglobiont evolution that predicts extreme genetic divergence between cave populations even across relatively small areas. An effective test of this model would involve (1) common troglobionts from (2) nearby caves in a cave-dense region, (3) good sample sizes per cave, (4) multiple taxa, and (5) genome-wide characterization. With these criteria in mind, we used RAD-seq to genotype an average of ten individuals of the troglobiotic spider Nesticus barri and the troglobiotic beetle Ptomaphagus hatchi, each from four closely located caves (ranging from 3-13 km apart) in the cave-rich southern Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, USA. Consistent with the caves as islands model, we find that populations from separate caves are indeed highly genetically isolated. In addition, nucleotide diversity was correlated to cave length, suggesting that cave size...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Gene Polymorphism
Genome-Wide Association Study
Research Subject
Inversion Mutation Abnormality
Benign Tumor of Pancreas
Entire Central Nervous System
Down Syndrome
Adrenal Glands

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