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Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 1;8(1):16143. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34267-0.

Genome-wide patterns of local adaptation in Western European Drosophila melanogaster natural populations.

Author information

1
Institute of Evolutionary Biology. CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, 37-49. 08003, Barcelona, Spain.
2
Institute of Evolutionary Biology. CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, 37-49. 08003, Barcelona, Spain. josefa.gonzalez@ibe.upf-csic.es.

Abstract

Signatures of spatially varying selection have been investigated both at the genomic and transcriptomic level in several organisms. In Drosophila melanogaster, the majority of these studies have analyzed North American and Australian populations, leading to the identification of several loci and traits under selection. However, several studies based mainly in North American populations showed evidence of admixture that likely contributed to the observed population differentiation patterns. Thus, disentangling demography from selection might be challenging when analyzing these populations. European populations could help identify loci under spatially varying selection provided that no recent admixture from African populations would have occurred. In this work, we individually sequence the genome of 42 European strains collected in populations from contrasting environments: Stockholm (Sweden) and Castellana Grotte (Southern Italy). We found low levels of population structure and no evidence of recent African admixture in these two populations. We thus look for patterns of spatially varying selection affecting individual genes and gene sets. Besides single nucleotide polymorphisms, we also investigated the role of transposable elements in local adaptation. We concluded that European populations are a good dataset to identify candidate loci under spatially varying selection. The analysis of the two populations sequenced in this work in the context of all the available D. melanogaster data allowed us to pinpoint genes and biological processes likely to be relevant for local adaptation. Identifying and analyzing populations with low levels of population structure and admixture should help to disentangle selective from non-selective forces underlying patterns of population differentiation in other species as well.

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