Experimental evidence for ecological selection on genome variation in the wild
Article first published online: 19 DEC 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 369–379, March 2014
How to Cite
Ecology Letters (2014) 17: 369–379
- Issue published online: 20 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 19 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 26 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 17 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 9 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Received: 30 AUG 2013
- European Research Council. Grant Number: R/129639
- National Science Foundation. Grant Number: DEB-1050355
- ecological speciation;
- genome evolution;
- natural selection;
- next-generation sequencing;
- population genomics;
- Timema cristinae
Understanding natural selection's effect on genetic variation is a major goal in biology, but the genome-scale consequences of contemporary selection are not well known. In a release and recapture field experiment we transplanted stick insects to native and novel host plants and directly measured allele frequency changes within a generation at 186 576 genetic loci. We observed substantial, genome-wide allele frequency changes during the experiment, most of which could be attributed to random mortality (genetic drift). However, we also documented that selection affected multiple genetic loci distributed across the genome, particularly in transplants to the novel host. Host-associated selection affecting the genome acted on both a known colour-pattern trait as well as other (unmeasured) phenotypes. We also found evidence that selection associated with elevation affected genome variation, although our experiment was not designed to test this. Our results illustrate how genomic data can identify previously underappreciated ecological sources and phenotypic targets of selection.