Present address: Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Spatial and temporal patterns of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)
Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 21, Issue 6, pages 1379–1393, March 2012
How to Cite
MARSDEN, C. D., WOODROFFE, R., MILLS, M. G. L., McNUTT, J. W., CREEL, S., GROOM, R., EMMANUEL, M., CLEAVELAND, S., KAT, P., RASMUSSEN, G. S.A., GINSBERG, J., LINES, R., ANDRÉ, J.-M., BEGG, C., WAYNE, R. K. and MABLE, B. K. (2012), Spatial and temporal patterns of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). Molecular Ecology, 21: 1379–1393. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05477.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012
- Received 25 September 2011; revision received 19 December 2011; accepted 24 December 2011
Vol. 21, Issue 17, 4408, Article first published online: 31 JUL 2012
- Lycaon pictus;
- major histocompatibility complex;
Deciphering patterns of genetic variation within a species is essential for understanding population structure, local adaptation and differences in diversity between populations. Whilst neutrally evolving genetic markers can be used to elucidate demographic processes and genetic structure, they are not subject to selection and therefore are not informative about patterns of adaptive variation. As such, assessments of pertinent adaptive loci, such as the immunity genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), are increasingly being incorporated into genetic studies. In this study, we combined neutral (microsatellite, mtDNA) and adaptive (MHC class II DLA-DRB1 locus) markers to elucidate the factors influencing patterns of genetic variation in the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus); an endangered canid that has suffered extensive declines in distribution and abundance. Our genetic analyses found all extant wild dog populations to be relatively small (Ne < 30). Furthermore, through coalescent modelling, we detected a genetic signature of a recent and substantial demographic decline, which correlates with human expansion, but contrasts with findings in some other African mammals. We found strong structuring of wild dog populations, indicating the negative influence of extensive habitat fragmentation and loss of gene flow between habitat patches. Across populations, we found that the spatial and temporal structure of microsatellite diversity and MHC diversity were correlated and strongly influenced by demographic stability and population size, indicating the effects of genetic drift in these small populations. Despite this correlation, we detected signatures of selection at the MHC, implying that selection has not been completely overwhelmed by genetic drift.