A1 Journal article – refereed
Genetic Architecture of Parallel Pelvic Reduction in Ninespine Sticklebacks

List of Authors: Shikano T, Laine VN, Herczeg G, Vilkki J, Merila J
Publication year: 2013
Journal: G3
Journal name in source: G3-GENES GENOMES GENETICS
Journal acronym: G3-GENES GENOM GENET
Number in series: 10
Volume number: 3
Issue number: 10
ISSN: 2160-1836

Teleost fish genomes are known to be evolving faster than those of other vertebrate taxa. Thus, fish are suited to address the extent to which the same vs. different genes are responsible for similar phenotypic changes in rapidly evolving genomes of evolutionary independent lineages. To gain insights into the genetic basis and evolutionary processes behind parallel phenotypic changes within and between species, we identified the genomic regions involved in pelvic reduction in Northern European ninespine sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) and compared them to those of North American ninespine and threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). To this end, we conducted quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping using 283 F2 progeny from an interpopulation cross. Phenotypic analyses indicated that pelvic reduction is a recessive trait and is inherited in a simple Mendelian fashion. Significant QTL for pelvic spine and girdle lengths were identified in the region of the Pituitary homeobox transcription factor 1 (Pitx1) gene, also responsible for pelvic reduction in threespine sticklebacks. The fact that no QTL was observed in the region identified in the mapping study of North American ninespine sticklebacks suggests that an alternative QTL for pelvic reduction has emerged in this species within the past 1.6 million years after the split between Northern European and North American populations. In general, our study provides empirical support for the view that alternative genetic mechanisms that lead to similar phenotypes can evolve over short evolutionary time scales.

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Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 16:47