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Nature. 2014 Nov 13;515(7526):261-3. doi: 10.1038/nature13685. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

Comparative population genomics in animals uncovers the determinants of genetic diversity.

Author information

1
1] UMR 5554, Institute of Evolutionary Sciences, University Montpellier 2, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France [2] Department of Ecology and Evolution, Biophore, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
2
1] UMR 5554, Institute of Evolutionary Sciences, University Montpellier 2, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France [2] UMR 7261, Institut de Recherches sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Université François-Rabelais, 37200 Tours, France.
3
UMR 5554, Institute of Evolutionary Sciences, University Montpellier 2, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France.
4
Aix-Marseille Université, Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d'Écologie marine et continentale (IMBE) - CNRS - IRD - UAPV, 13007 Marseille, France.
5
Department of Biology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002, USA.
6
UMR 5558, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Université Lyon 1, CNRS, 69622 Lyon, France.
7
1] UMR 5554, Institute of Evolutionary Sciences, University Montpellier 2, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France [2] The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK.
8
1] UMR 5554, Institute of Evolutionary Sciences, University Montpellier 2, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France [2] Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK.

Abstract

Genetic diversity is the amount of variation observed between DNA sequences from distinct individuals of a given species. This pivotal concept of population genetics has implications for species health, domestication, management and conservation. Levels of genetic diversity seem to vary greatly in natural populations and species, but the determinants of this variation, and particularly the relative influences of species biology and ecology versus population history, are still largely mysterious. Here we show that the diversity of a species is predictable, and is determined in the first place by its ecological strategy. We investigated the genome-wide diversity of 76 non-model animal species by sequencing the transcriptome of two to ten individuals in each species. The distribution of genetic diversity between species revealed no detectable influence of geographic range or invasive status but was accurately predicted by key species traits related to parental investment: long-lived or low-fecundity species with brooding ability were genetically less diverse than short-lived or highly fecund ones. Our analysis demonstrates the influence of long-term life-history strategies on species response to short-term environmental perturbations, a result with immediate implications for conservation policies.

PMID:
25141177
DOI:
10.1038/nature13685
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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