ResearchPad - genetic-drift https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Fine-scale population genetic structure of dengue mosquito vector, <i>Aedes aegypti</i>, in Metropolitan Manila, Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14656 Aedes aegypti is an efficient vector of dengue due to its highly adaptive nature to the urban environment. Although it is observed to have a short dispersal (active) capability, it has been shown to be capable of traveling long distances (passive) via human-mediated transportation. This duality may expand the distribution of the mosquito vector in urbanized areas. In this study, we examined the population genetic structure of Ae. aegypti in a highly urbanized and dengue-endemic region of the Philippines, Metropolitan Manila. Our findings indicated the dual dispersal nature of Ae. aegypti. The use of microsatellites as genetic markers also allowed us to describe the potential long-distance dispersal patterns, possibly through human-aided land transportation via the existing road networks of Metropolitan Manila.

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<![CDATA[A novel polymorphism in the fatty acid desaturase 2 gene (Fads2): A possible role in the basal metabolic rate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e86d5eed0c484cc247a

Fatty acyl composition of cell membrane lipids, particularly the abundance of highly unsaturated docosahexaenoic fatty acid (22:6n-3, DHA), is likely to be an important predictor of basal metabolic rate (BMR). Our study was performed using two lines of laboratory mice divergently selected for either high or low BMR. We describe a novel single nucleotide polymorphism in the Fads2 gene encoding Δ6-desaturase, a key enzyme in the metabolic pathways of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The allele frequencies of Fads2 were significantly different in both lines of mice. The analysis of genetic distances revealed that the genetic differentiation between the two studied lines developed significantly faster at the Fads2 locus than it did at neutral loci. Such a pattern suggests that the Fads2 polymorphism is related to the variation in BMR, i.e. the direct target of selection. The Fads2 polymorphism significantly affected abundance of several PUFAs; however, the differences in PUFA composition between lines were compatible with the difference in frequency of Fads2 alleles only for DHA. We hypothesize that the polymorphism in the Fads2 gene affects the BMR through modification of DHA abundance in cell membranes. This may be the first example of a significant link between a polymorphism in a gene responsible for fatty acyl composition and variation in BMR.

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<![CDATA[Revisiting an Old Riddle: What Determines Genetic Diversity Levels within Species?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6ddea

With the recent revolution in sequencing, we revisit the unresolved question of what influences the range and values of genetic diversity across taxa.

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<![CDATA[Population Expanding with the Phalanx Model and Lineages Split by Environmental Heterogeneity: A Case Study of Primula obconica in Subtropical China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab5ab0ee8fa60bac6de

Background

Current and historical events have both affected the current distribution patterns and intraspecific divergence of plants. While numerous studies have focused on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), the impacts of such events on the flora of subtropical China remain poorly understood. Subtropical China is famous for its highly complex topography and the limited impact from glaciation during the Pleistocene; this may have resulted in a different genetic legacy for species in this region compared to fully glaciated areas.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We used plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data and distribution modeling to analyze the divergence patterns and demographic history of Primula obconica Hance, a widespread herbaceous montane species in subtropical China. The phylogenetic analysis revealed two major lineages (lineage A and lineage B), representing a west-east split into the Yunnan and Eastern groups, and the Sichuan and Central groups, respectively. The Eastern and Central groups comprised relatively new derived haplotypes. Nested Clade Analysis and Bayesian Skyline Plot analyses both indicated that P. obconica mainly experienced a gradual expansion of populations. In addition, the simulated distribution of P. obconica during the Last Glacial Maximum was slightly larger than its present-day distribution.

Conclusion/Significance

Our results are the first to identify a west-east migration of P. obconica. The gradual expansion pattern and a larger potential distribution range in cold periods detected for P. obconica indicate that the population expansion of this species is consistent with the phalanx model. In addition, the current patterns of genetic differentiation have persisted as a result of the extensive environmental heterogeneity that exists in subtropical China.

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<![CDATA[Outlining the Ancestry Landscape of Colombian Admixed Populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1dab0ee8fa60bce850

The ancestry of the Colombian population comprises a large number of well differentiated Native communities belonging to diverse linguistic groups. In the late fifteenth century, a process of admixture was initiated with the arrival of the Europeans, and several years later, Africans also became part of the Colombian population. Therefore, the genepool of the current Colombian population results from the admixture of Native Americans, Europeans and Africans. This admixture occurred differently in each region of the country, producing a clearly stratified population. Considering the importance of population substructure in both clinical and forensic genetics, we sought to investigate and compare patterns of genetic ancestry in Colombia by studying samples from Native and non-Native populations living in its 5 continental regions: the Andes, Caribe, Amazonia, Orinoquía, and Pacific regions. For this purpose, 46 AIM-Indels were genotyped in 761 non-related individuals from current populations. Previously published genotype data from 214 Colombian Natives from five communities were used for population comparisons. Significant differences were observed between Native and non-Native populations, among non-Native populations from different regions and among Native populations from different ethnic groups. The Pacific was the region with the highest African ancestry, Amazonia harboured the highest Native ancestry and the Andean and Orinoquían regions showed the highest proportion of European ancestry. The Andean region was further sub-divided into 6 sub-regions: North East, Central West, Central East, West, South West and South East. Among these regions, the South West region showed a significantly lower European admixture than the other regions. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and variance values of ancestry among individuals within populations showed a potential stratification of the Pacific population.

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<![CDATA[The Genetic Structure of the Swedish Population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b6951d

Patterns of genetic diversity have previously been shown to mirror geography on a global scale and within continents and individual countries. Using genome-wide SNP data on 5174 Swedes with extensive geographical coverage, we analyzed the genetic structure of the Swedish population. We observed strong differences between the far northern counties and the remaining counties. The population of Dalarna county, in north middle Sweden, which borders southern Norway, also appears to differ markedly from other counties, possibly due to this county having more individuals with remote Finnish or Norwegian ancestry than other counties. An analysis of genetic differentiation (based on pairwise Fst) indicated that the population of Sweden's southernmost counties are genetically closer to the HapMap CEU samples of Northern European ancestry than to the populations of Sweden's northernmost counties. In a comparison of extended homozygous segments, we detected a clear divide between southern and northern Sweden with small differences between the southern counties and considerably more segments in northern Sweden. Both the increased degree of homozygosity in the north and the large genetic differences between the south and the north may have arisen due to a small population in the north and the vast geographical distances between towns and villages in the north, in contrast to the more densely settled southern parts of Sweden. Our findings have implications for future genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with respect to the matching of cases and controls and the need for within-county matching. We have shown that genetic differences within a single country may be substantial, even when viewed on a European scale. Thus, population stratification needs to be accounted for, even within a country like Sweden, which is often perceived to be relatively homogenous and a favourable resource for genetic mapping, otherwise inferences based on genetic data may lead to false conclusions.

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<![CDATA[On the Origin of Tibetans and Their Genetic Basis in Adapting High-Altitude Environments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3bab0ee8fa60bd4b87

Since their arrival in the Tibetan Plateau during the Neolithic Age, Tibetans have been well-adapted to extreme environmental conditions and possess genetic variation that reflect their living environment and migratory history. To investigate the origin of Tibetans and the genetic basis of adaptation in a rigorous environment, we genotyped 30 Tibetan individuals with more than one million SNP markers. Our findings suggested that Tibetans, together with the Yi people, were descendants of Tibeto-Burmans who diverged from ancient settlers of East Asia. The valleys of the Hengduan Mountain range may be a major migration route. We also identified a set of positively-selected genes that belong to functional classes of the embryonic, female gonad, and blood vessel developments, as well as response to hypoxia. Most of these genes were highly correlated with population-specific and beneficial phenotypes, such as high infant survival rate and the absence of chronic mountain sickness.

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<![CDATA[Exploiting the Adaptation Dynamics to Predict the Distribution of Beneficial Fitness Effects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da10ab0ee8fa60b79473

Adaptation of asexual populations is driven by beneficial mutations and therefore the dynamics of this process, besides other factors, depends on the distribution of beneficial fitness effects. It is known that on uncorrelated fitness landscapes, this distribution can only be of three types: truncated, exponential and power law. We performed extensive stochastic simulations to study the adaptation dynamics on rugged fitness landscapes, and identified two quantities that can be used to distinguish the underlying distribution of beneficial fitness effects. The first quantity studied here is the fitness difference between successive mutations that spread in the population, which is found to decrease in the case of truncated distributions, remains nearly a constant for exponentially decaying distributions and increases when the fitness distribution decays as a power law. The second quantity of interest, namely, the rate of change of fitness with time also shows quantitatively different behaviour for different beneficial fitness distributions. The patterns displayed by the two aforementioned quantities are found to hold good for both low and high mutation rates. We discuss how these patterns can be exploited to determine the distribution of beneficial fitness effects in microbial experiments.

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<![CDATA[Approximation to the Distribution of Fitness Effects across Functional Categories in Human Segregating Polymorphisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da42ab0ee8fa60b8a51a

Quantifying the proportion of polymorphic mutations that are deleterious or neutral is of fundamental importance to our understanding of evolution, disease genetics and the maintenance of variation genome-wide. Here, we develop an approximation to the distribution of fitness effects (DFE) of segregating single-nucleotide mutations in humans. Unlike previous methods, we do not assume that synonymous mutations are neutral or not strongly selected, and we do not rely on fitting the DFE of all new nonsynonymous mutations to a single probability distribution, which is poorly motivated on a biological level. We rely on a previously developed method that utilizes a variety of published annotations (including conservation scores, protein deleteriousness estimates and regulatory data) to score all mutations in the human genome based on how likely they are to be affected by negative selection, controlling for mutation rate. We map this and other conservation scores to a scale of fitness coefficients via maximum likelihood using diffusion theory and a Poisson random field model on SNP data. Our method serves to approximate the deleterious DFE of mutations that are segregating, regardless of their genomic consequence. We can then compare the proportion of mutations that are negatively selected or neutral across various categories, including different types of regulatory sites. We observe that the distribution of intergenic polymorphisms is highly peaked at neutrality, while the distribution of nonsynonymous polymorphisms has a second peak at . Other types of polymorphisms have shapes that fall roughly in between these two. We find that transcriptional start sites, strong CTCF-enriched elements and enhancers are the regulatory categories with the largest proportion of deleterious polymorphisms.

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<![CDATA[Mutations in Global Regulators Lead to Metabolic Selection during Adaptation to Complex Environments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1bab0ee8fa60b7ccad

Adaptation to ecologically complex environments can provide insights into the evolutionary dynamics and functional constraints encountered by organisms during natural selection. Adaptation to a new environment with abundant and varied resources can be difficult to achieve by small incremental changes if many mutations are required to achieve even modest gains in fitness. Since changing complex environments are quite common in nature, we investigated how such an epistatic bottleneck can be avoided to allow rapid adaptation. We show that adaptive mutations arise repeatedly in independently evolved populations in the context of greatly increased genetic and phenotypic diversity. We go on to show that weak selection requiring substantial metabolic reprogramming can be readily achieved by mutations in the global response regulator arcA and the stress response regulator rpoS. We identified 46 unique single-nucleotide variants of arcA and 18 mutations in rpoS, nine of which resulted in stop codons or large deletions, suggesting that subtle modulations of ArcA function and knockouts of rpoS are largely responsible for the metabolic shifts leading to adaptation. These mutations allow a higher order metabolic selection that eliminates epistatic bottlenecks, which could occur when many changes would be required. Proteomic and carbohydrate analysis of adapting E. coli populations revealed an up-regulation of enzymes associated with the TCA cycle and amino acid metabolism, and an increase in the secretion of putrescine. The overall effect of adaptation across populations is to redirect and efficiently utilize uptake and catabolism of abundant amino acids. Concomitantly, there is a pronounced spread of more ecologically limited strains that results from specialization through metabolic erosion. Remarkably, the global regulators arcA and rpoS can provide a “one-step” mechanism of adaptation to a novel environment, which highlights the importance of global resource management as a powerful strategy to adaptation.

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<![CDATA[A Test of the ‘Genetic Rescue’ Technique Using Bottlenecked Donor Populations of Drosophila melanogaster]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da25ab0ee8fa60b80395

We produced replicated experimental lines of inbred fruit flies Drosophila melanogaster to test the effects of crossing different bottlenecked populations as a method of ‘genetic rescue’ for endangered species lacking outbred donor populations. Two strains differing in the origin of the founders were maintained as isolated populations in a laboratory environment. After two generations of controlled full-sib matings, the resulting inbred fruit flies had significantly reduced breeding success and survival rates. However, crosses between the two bottlenecked strains reversed the effects of inbreeding and led to increases in breeding success and survival that persisted into the second generation of hybrid offspring. In contrast, crosses within each strain (but between different replicate lines) resulted in only slight improvements in some fitness components, and this positive trend was reversed in the second generation. This experiment highlights the potential value of translocations between different inbred populations of endangered species as a tool to mitigate the negative effects of inbreeding, but this benefit may depend upon the origin of the populations. Our results also confirm the importance of maintaining adequate levels of genetic variation within populations and that severely bottlenecked populations should not be discounted as possible donors in genetic rescue programs for endangered species.

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<![CDATA[Determinants of Genetic Structure in a Nonequilibrium Metapopulation of the Plant Silene latifolia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac5ab0ee8fa60bb232e

Population genetic differentiation will be influenced by the demographic history of populations, opportunities for migration among neighboring demes and founder effects associated with repeated extinction and recolonization. In natural populations, these factors are expected to interact with each other and their magnitudes will vary depending on the spatial distribution and age structure of local demes. Although each of these effects has been individually identified as important in structuring genetic variance, their relative magnitude is seldom estimated in nature. We conducted a population genetic analysis in a metapopulation of the angiosperm, Silene latifolia, from which we had more than 20 years of data on the spatial distribution, demographic history, and extinction and colonization of demes. We used hierarchical Bayesian methods to disentangle which features of the populations contributed to among population variation in allele frequencies, including the magnitude and direction of their effects. We show that population age, long-term size and degree of connectivity all combine to affect the distribution of genetic variance; small, recently-founded, isolated populations contributed most to increase FST in the metapopulation. However, the effects of population size and population age are best understood as being modulated through the effects of connectivity to other extant populations, i.e. FST diminishes as populations age, but at a rate that depends how isolated the population is. These spatial and temporal correlates of population structure give insight into how migration, founder effect and within-deme genetic drift have combined to enhance and restrict genetic divergence in a natural metapopulation.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Structure in a Small Pelagic Fish Coincides with a Marine Protected Area: Seascape Genetics in Patagonian Fjords]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daedab0ee8fa60bbfc62

Marine environmental variables can play an important role in promoting population genetic differentiation in marine organisms. Although fjord ecosystems have attracted much attention due to the great oscillation of environmental variables that produce heterogeneous habitats, species inhabiting this kind of ecosystem have received less attention. In this study, we used Sprattus fuegensis, a small pelagic species that populates the inner waters of the continental shelf, channels and fjords of Chilean Patagonia and Argentina, as a model species to test whether environmental variables of fjords relate to population genetic structure. A total of 282 individuals were analyzed from Chilean Patagonia with eight microsatellite loci. Bayesian and non-Bayesian analyses were conducted to describe the genetic variability of S. fuegensis and whether it shows spatial genetic structure. Results showed two well-differentiated genetic clusters along the Chilean Patagonia distribution (i.e. inside the embayment area called TicToc, and the rest of the fjords), but no spatial isolation by distance (IBD) pattern was found with a Mantel test analysis. Temperature and nitrate were correlated to the expected heterozygosities and explained the allelic frequency variation of data in the redundancy analyses. These results suggest that the singular genetic differences found in S. fuegensis from inside TicToc Bay (East of the Corcovado Gulf) are the result of larvae retention bya combination of oceanographic mesoscale processes (i.e. the west wind drift current reaches the continental shelf exactly in this zone), and the local geographical configuration (i.e. embayment area, islands, archipelagos). We propose that these features generated an isolated area in the Patagonian fjords that promoted genetic differentiation by drift and a singular biodiversity, adding support to the existence of the largest marine protected area (MPA) of continental Chile, which is the Tic-Toc MPA.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Structure of the Tree Peony (Paeonia rockii) and the Qinling Mountains as a Geographic Barrier Driving the Fragmentation of a Large Population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabbab0ee8fa60baeba2

Background

Tree peonies are great ornamental plants associated with a rich ethnobotanical history in Chinese culture and have recently been used as an evolutionary model. The Qinling Mountains represent a significant geographic barrier in Asia, dividing mainland China into northern (temperate) and southern (semi–tropical) regions; however, their flora has not been well analyzed. In this study, the genetic differentiation and genetic structure of Paeonia rockii and the role of the Qinling Mountains as a barrier that has driven intraspecific fragmentation were evaluated using 14 microsatellite markers.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Twenty wild populations were sampled from the distributional range of P. rockii. Significant population differentiation was suggested (FST value of 0.302). Moderate genetic diversity at the population level (HS of 0.516) and high population diversity at the species level (HT of 0.749) were detected. Significant excess homozygosity (FIS of 0.076) and recent population bottlenecks were detected in three populations. Bayesian clusters, population genetic trees and principal coordinate analysis all classified the P. rockii populations into three genetic groups and one admixed Wenxian population. An isolation-by-distance model for P. rockii was suggested by Mantel tests (r = 0.6074, P<0.001) and supported by AMOVA (P<0.001), revealing a significant molecular variance among the groups (11.32%) and their populations (21.22%). These data support the five geographic boundaries surrounding the Qinling Mountains and adjacent areas that were detected with Monmonier's maximum-difference algorithm.

Conclusions/Significance

Our data suggest that the current genetic structure of P. rockii has resulted from the fragmentation of a formerly continuously distributed large population following the restriction of gene flow between populations of this species by the Qinling Mountains. This study provides a fundamental genetic profile for the conservation and responsible exploitation of the extant germplasm of this species and for improving the genetic basis for breeding its cultivars.

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<![CDATA[Nationwide Molecular Surveillance of Pandemic H1N1 Influenza A Virus Genomes: Canada, 2009]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da34ab0ee8fa60b85a8e

Background

In April 2009, a novel triple-reassortant swine influenza A H1N1 virus (“A/H1N1pdm”; also known as SOIV) was detected and spread globally as the first influenza pandemic of the 21st century. Sequencing has since been conducted at an unprecedented rate globally in order to monitor the diversification of this emergent virus and to track mutations that may affect virus behavior.

Methodology/Principal Findings

By Sanger sequencing, we determined consensus whole-genome sequences for A/H1N1pdm viruses sampled nationwide in Canada over 33 weeks during the 2009 first and second pandemic waves. A total of 235 virus genomes sampled from unique subjects were analyzed, providing insight into the temporal and spatial trajectory of A/H1N1pdm lineages within Canada. Three clades (2, 3, and 7) were identifiable within the first two weeks of A/H1N1pdm appearance, with clades 5 and 6 appearing thereafter; further diversification was not apparent. Only two viral sites displayed evidence of adaptive evolution, located in hemagglutinin (HA) corresponding to D222 in the HA receptor-binding site, and to E374 at HA2-subunit position 47. Among the Canadian sampled viruses, we observed notable genetic diversity (1.47×10−3 amino acid substitutions per site) in the gene encoding PB1, particularly within the viral genomic RNA (vRNA)-binding domain (residues 493–757). This genome data set supports the conclusion that A/H1N1pdm is evolving but not excessively relative to other H1N1 influenza A viruses. Entropy analysis was used to investigate whether any mutated A/H1N1pdm protein residues were associated with infection severity; however no virus genotypes were observed to trend with infection severity. One virus that harboured heterozygote coding mutations, including PB2 D567D/G, was attributed to a severe and potentially mixed infection; yet the functional significance of this PB2 mutation remains unknown.

Conclusions/Significance

These findings contribute to enhanced understanding of Influenza A/H1N1pdm viral dynamics.

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<![CDATA[Positive Selection in the Chromosome 16 VKORC1 Genomic Region Has Contributed to the Variability of Anticoagulant Response in Humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad3ab0ee8fa60bb701c

VKORC1 (vitamin K epoxide reductase complex subunit 1, 16p11.2) is the main genetic determinant of human response to oral anticoagulants of antivitamin K type (AVK). This gene was recently suggested to be a putative target of positive selection in East Asian populations. In this study, we genotyped the HGDP-CEPH Panel for six VKORC1 SNPs and downloaded chromosome 16 genotypes from the HGDP-CEPH database in order to characterize the geographic distribution of footprints of positive selection within and around this locus. A unique VKORC1 haplotype carrying the promoter mutation associated with AVK sensitivity showed especially high frequencies in all the 17 HGDP-CEPH East Asian population samples. VKORC1 and 24 neighboring genes were found to lie in a 505 kb region of strong linkage disequilibrium in these populations. Patterns of allele frequency differentiation and haplotype structure suggest that this genomic region has been submitted to a near complete selective sweep in all East Asian populations and only in this geographic area. The most extreme scores of the different selection tests are found within a smaller 45 kb region that contains VKORC1 and three other genes (BCKDK, MYST1 (KAT8), and PRSS8) with different functions. Because of the strong linkage disequilibrium, it is not possible to determine if VKORC1 or one of the three other genes is the target of this strong positive selection that could explain present-day differences among human populations in AVK dose requirement. Our results show that the extended region surrounding a presumable single target of positive selection should be analyzed for genetic variation in a wide range of genetically diverse populations in order to account for other neighboring and confounding selective events and the hitchhiking effect.

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<![CDATA[Empirical Distributions of FST from Large-Scale Human Polymorphism Data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da45ab0ee8fa60b8b648

Studies of the apportionment of human genetic variation have long established that most human variation is within population groups and that the additional variation between population groups is small but greatest when comparing different continental populations. These studies often used Wright’s FST that apportions the standardized variance in allele frequencies within and between population groups. Because local adaptations increase population differentiation, high-FST may be found at closely linked loci under selection and used to identify genes undergoing directional or heterotic selection. We re-examined these processes using HapMap data. We analyzed 3 million SNPs on 602 samples from eight worldwide populations and a consensus subset of 1 million SNPs found in all populations. We identified four major features of the data: First, a hierarchically FST analysis showed that only a paucity (12%) of the total genetic variation is distributed between continental populations and even a lesser genetic variation (1%) is found between intra-continental populations. Second, the global FST distribution closely follows an exponential distribution. Third, although the overall FST distribution is similarly shaped (inverse J), FST distributions varies markedly by allele frequency when divided into non-overlapping groups by allele frequency range. Because the mean allele frequency is a crude indicator of allele age, these distributions mark the time-dependent change in genetic differentiation. Finally, the change in mean-FST of these groups is linear in allele frequency. These results suggest that investigating the extremes of the FST distribution for each allele frequency group is more efficient for detecting selection. Consequently, we demonstrate that such extreme SNPs are more clustered along the chromosomes than expected from linkage disequilibrium for each allele frequency group. These genomic regions are therefore likely candidates for natural selection.

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<![CDATA[Invasion History of the Oriental Fruit Fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, in the Pacific-Asia Region: Two Main Invasion Routes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9faab0ee8fa60b71ca9

The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, was initially recorded in Taiwan Island in 1912, and has dispersed to many areas in the Pacific-Asia region over the last century. The area of origin of the species may be confidently placed in South-East China. However, routes of range expansion to new areas and underlying population processes remain partially unclear, despite having been the subject of several studies. To explore the invasion history of this species, a partition of the cox1 gene of mitochondrial DNA was used to investigate genetic diversity, haplotype phylogeny and demographic history of 35 populations, covering China and South-East Asia and including marginal populations from Pakistan and Hawaii. Based on neighbor-joining tree analysis and the distribution of haplotypes, two main invasion routes are inferred: one from South-East China to Central China, another from South-East China to South-East Asia, with both routes probably coinciding in Central China. Populations in Taiwan Island and Hainan Island might have originated in South-East China. The marginal populations in Pakistan and Hawaii might have undergone founding events or genetic bottlenecks. Possible strategies for the control of this species are proposed based on the invasion history and reconstructed expansion routes.

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<![CDATA[Transcontinental Phylogeography of the Daphnia pulex Species Complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da00ab0ee8fa60b73a7b

Daphnia pulex is quickly becoming an attractive model species in the field of ecological genomics due to the recent release of its complete genome sequence, a wide variety of new genomic resources, and a rich history of ecological data. Sequences of the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 genes were used to assess the global phylogeography of this species, and to further elucidate its phylogenetic relationship to other members of the Daphnia pulex species complex. Using both newly acquired and previously published data, we analyzed 398 individuals from collections spanning five continents. Eleven strongly supported lineages were found within the D. pulex complex, and one lineage in particular, panarctic D. pulex, has very little phylogeographical structure and a near worldwide distribution. Mismatch distribution, haplotype network, and population genetic analyses are compatible with a North American origin for this lineage and subsequent spatial expansion in the Late Pleistocene. In addition, our analyses suggest that dispersal between North and South America of this and other species in the D. pulex complex has occurred multiple times, and is predominantly from north to south. Our results provide additional support for the evolutionary relationships of the eleven main mitochondrial lineages of the D. pulex complex. We found that the well-studied panarctic D. pulex is present on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Despite being geographically very widespread, there is a lack of strong regionalism in the mitochondrial genomes of panarctic D. pulex – a pattern that differs from that of most studied cladocerans. Moreover, our analyses suggest recent expansion of the panarctic D. pulex lineage, with some continents sharing haplotypes. The hypothesis that hybrid asexuality has contributed to the recent and unusual geographic success of the panarctic D. pulex lineage warrants further study.

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<![CDATA[Twin Town in South Brazil: A Nazi's Experiment or a Genetic Founder Effect?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7d96e

Cândido Godói (CG) is a small municipality in South Brazil with approximately 6,000 inhabitants. It is known as the “Twins' Town” due to its high rate of twin births. Recently it was claimed that such high frequency of twinning would be connected to experiments performed by the German Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele. It is known, however, that this town was founded by a small number of families and therefore a genetic founder effect may represent an alternatively explanation for the high twinning prevalence in CG. In this study, we tested specific predictions of the “Nazi's experiment” and of the “founder effect” hypotheses. We surveyed a total of 6,262 baptism records from 1959–2008 in CG catholic churches, and identified 91 twin pairs and one triplet. Contrary to the “Nazi's experiment hypothesis”, there is no spurt in twinning between the years (1964–1968) when Mengele allegedly was in CG (P = 0.482). Moreover, there is no temporal trend for a declining rate of twinning since the 1960s (P = 0.351), and no difference in twinning among CG districts considering two different periods: 1927–1958 and 1959–2008 (P = 0.638). On the other hand, the “founder effect hypothesis” is supported by an isonymy analysis that shows that women who gave birth to twins have a higher inbreeding coefficient when compared to women who never had twins (0.0148, 0.0081, respectively, P = 0.019). In summary, our results show no evidence for the “Nazi's experiment hypothesis” and strongly suggest that the “founder effect hypothesis” is a much more likely alternative for explaining the high prevalence of twinning in CG. If this hypothesis is correct, then this community represents a valuable population where genetic factors linked to twinning may be identified.

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