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Transcriptome-wide patterns of divergence during allopatric evolution.

  • Author(s): Pereira, Ricardo J
  • Barreto, Felipe S
  • Pierce, N Tessa
  • Carneiro, Miguel
  • Burton, Ronald S
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.13579
Abstract

Recent studies have revealed repeated patterns of genomic divergence associated with species formation. Such patterns suggest that natural selection tends to target a set of available genes, but is also indicative that closely related taxa share evolutionary constraints that limit genetic variability. Studying patterns of genomic divergence among populations within the same species may shed light on the underlying evolutionary processes. Here, we examine transcriptome-wide divergence and polymorphism in the marine copepod Tigriopus californicus, a species where allopatric evolution has led to replicate sets of populations with varying degrees of divergence and hybrid incompatibility. Our analyses suggest that relatively small effective population sizes have resulted in an exponential decline of shared polymorphisms during population divergence and also facilitated the fixation of slightly deleterious mutations within allopatric populations. Five interpopulation comparisons at three different stages of divergence show that nonsynonymous mutations tend to accumulate in a specific set of proteins. These include proteins with central roles in cellular metabolism, such as those encoded in mtDNA, but also include an additional set of proteins that repeatedly show signatures of positive selection during allopatric divergence. Although our results are consistent with a contribution of nonadaptive processes, such as genetic drift and gene expression levels, generating repeatable patterns of genomic divergence in closely related taxa, they also indicate that adaptive evolution targeting a specific set of genes contributes to this pattern. Our results yield insights into the predictability of evolution at the gene level.

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