Multiple evolutionary pathways to achieve thermal adaptation in small mammals

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jocelyn P ColellaMatthew D MacManes


Rapid ecological radiations provide useful models for identifying instances of parallel evolution, which can highlight critical genomic architecture involved in shared adaptations. Thermoregulatory innovations have allowed deer mice of the genus Peromyscus to radiate throughout North America, exploiting extreme thermal environments from mountain tops to desert valleys, and positioning this taxon as a model for understanding thermal adaptation. We compare signatures of selective sweeps across population-level genomic resequencing data from two desert-adapted Peromyscus species (P. crinitus and P. eremicus) and a third, widely-distributed habitat generalist (P. maniculatus) to test for signatures of parallel evolution and identify shared genomic architecture involved in adaptation to hot deserts. We found limited evidence of parallel evolution. Instead, we identified divergent molecular mechanisms of adaptation to similar environments potentially tied to species-specific historical demography that may limit or enhance adaptive variation. We also identified numerous genes under selection in P. crinitus that are implicated in osmoregulation (Trypsin, Prostasin) and metabolic responses to desert life (Kallikrein, eIF2-alpha kinase G...Continue Reading

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