Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Darwin in the genome: Research on stickleback fish shows how adaptation to new environments involves many genes

Date:
April 3, 2012
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
A current controversy raging in evolutionary biology is whether adaptation to new environments is the result of many genes, each of relatively small effect, or just a few genes of large effect. A new study strongly supports the first "many-small" hypothesis.

Researcher with an iguana.
Credit: Image courtesy of McGill University

A current controversy raging in evolutionary biology is about whether adaptation to new environments is the result of many genes, each of relatively small effect, or just a few genes of large effect. A new study published in Molecular Ecology strongly supports the first "many-small" hypothesis.

McGill University professor Andrew Hendry, from the Department of Biology and the Redpath Museum, and evolutionary geneticists at Basel University in Switzerland, studied how threespine stickleback fish adapted to lake and stream environments in British Columbia, Canada. The authors used cutting-edge genomic methods to test for genetic differences at thousands of positions ("loci") scattered across the stickleback genome. Very large genetic differences between lake and stream stickleback were discovered at more than a dozen of these loci, which is considerably more than expected under the alternative "few-large" hypothesis.

By examining four independently evolved lake-stream population pairs, the researchers were further able to show that increasing divergence between the populations involved genetic differences that were larger and present at more and more loci.

As these results were obtained using new high-resolution genetic methods, it is conceivable that previous perceptions of adaptation as being a genetically simple process are simply the result of a bias resulting from previous lower-resolution genomic methods.

"I suspect that as more and more studies use these methods, the tide of opinion will swerve strongly to the view that adaptation is a complex process that involves many genes spread across diverse places in the genome," says Prof. Hendry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marius Roesti, Andrew P. Hendry, Walter Salzburger, Daniel Berner. Genome divergence during evolutionary diversification as revealed in replicate lake-stream stickleback population pairs. Molecular Ecology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05509.x

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Darwin in the genome: Research on stickleback fish shows how adaptation to new environments involves many genes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120403140042.htm>.
McGill University. (2012, April 3). Darwin in the genome: Research on stickleback fish shows how adaptation to new environments involves many genes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120403140042.htm
McGill University. "Darwin in the genome: Research on stickleback fish shows how adaptation to new environments involves many genes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120403140042.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) We all know that it is important to eat our fruits and vegetables but do you know which ones are the best for you? Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) MIT researchers were able to change whether bad memories in mice made them anxious by flicking an emotional switch in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A study out of University at Buffalo claims couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to experience intimate partner violence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A panda in China showed pregnancy symptoms that disappeared after two months of observation. One theory: Her pseudopregnancy was a ploy for perks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins