Current address: Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.
Linking intronic polymorphism on the CHD1-Z gene with fitness correlates in Black-tailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa
Article first published online: 20 JAN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ornithologists’ Union
Volume 152, Issue 2, pages 368–377, April 2010
How to Cite
SCHROEDER, J., KENTIE, R., VAN DER VELDE, M., HOOIJMEIJER, J. C. E. W., BOTH, C., HADDRATH, O., BAKER, A. J. and PIERSMA, T. (2010), Linking intronic polymorphism on the CHD1-Z gene with fitness correlates in Black-tailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa. Ibis, 152: 368–377. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2009.01005.x
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 20 JAN 2010
- Received 14 August 2009; revision accepted 12 December 2009.
- breeding plumage coloration;
- intronic polymorphism;
- molecular sexing;
- population structure;
We show that variation in an intronic length polymorphism in the CHD1-Z gene in Black-tailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa is associated with fitness correlates. This is the second example of the CHDZ-1 gene being correlated with fitness, a previous study having established that Moorhens Gallinula chloropus carrying the rare Z* allele have reduced survival. In Godwits, however, carriers of the Z* allele (374 bp) fared better than those with the more frequent Z allele (378 bp) with respect to body mass, plumage ornamentation, reproductive parameters and habitat quality. The Z* allele was found in 14% of 251 adult birds from nature reserves, but was absent from 33 birds breeding in intensively managed agricultural lands. Males and females with the Z* allele had less extensive breeding plumage, and females had a higher body mass, bred earlier and had larger eggs. There were no significant differences in annual survival between birds with and without the Z* allele. DNA isolated from museum skins demonstrated that this polymorphism was present at low frequency in 1929. We speculate that strong asymmetrical overdominance may explain the low frequency of the Z* allele and that genetic linkage to causal genes might be an explanation for the phenotypic correlations. Our findings suggest a degree of cryptic genetic population structuring in the Dutch Godwit population.