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Rapid genetic adaptation to a novel ecosystem despite a massive bottleneck
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  • Morgan Sparks,
  • Claire Schraidt,
  • Xiaoshen Yin,
  • Lisa Seeb,
  • Mark Christie
Morgan Sparks
Purdue University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Claire Schraidt
Purdue University
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Xiaoshen Yin
Ocean University of China
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Lisa Seeb
University of Washington
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Mark Christie
Purdue University
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Introduced and invasive species make excellent natural experiments for investigating rapid evolution. Here, we describe the effects of genetic drift and rapid genetic adaptation in pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) that were accidentally introduced to the Great Lakes via a single introduction event 31-generations ago. Using whole-genome resequencing for 134 fish spanning five sample groups across the native and introduced range, we estimate that the progenitor population’s effective population size was 146,886 at the time of introduction, whereas the founding population’s effective population size was just 72—a 2040-fold decrease. As expected with a severe bottleneck, we show reductions in genome-wide measures of genetic diversity, specifically a 37.7% reduction in the number of SNPs and an 8.2% reduction in observed heterozygosity. Despite this decline in genetic diversity, we provide evidence for putative selection at 47 loci across multiple chromosomes in the introduced populations, including missense variants in genes associated with circadian rhythm, immunological response, and maturation, which match expected or known phenotypic changes in the Great Lakes. For one of these genes, we use a species-specific agent-based model to rule out genetic drift and conclude that a strong response to selection occurred in a period gene (per2) that plays a predominant role in determining an organism’s daily clock, matching large day length differences experienced by introduced salmon during important phenological periods. Together, these results inform how populations might evolve rapidly to new environments, even with a small pool of standing genetic variation.
08 Mar 2023Submitted to Molecular Ecology
10 Mar 2023Submission Checks Completed
10 Mar 2023Assigned to Editor
10 Mar 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 Mar 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 Apr 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
17 Jul 20231st Revision Received
18 Jul 2023Submission Checks Completed
18 Jul 2023Assigned to Editor
18 Jul 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Aug 2023Editorial Decision: Accept