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1.
Mol Ecol ; 2021 Sep 22.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34551154

RESUMEN

Telomere length and DNA methylation (DNAm) are two promising biomarkers of biological age. Environmental factors and life history traits are known to affect variation in both these biomarkers, especially during early life, yet surprisingly little is known about their reciprocal association, especially in natural populations. Here, we explore how variation in DNAm, growth rate, and early-life conditions are associated with telomere length changes during development. We tested these associations by collecting data from wild, nestling zebra finches in the Australian desert. We found that increases in the level of DNAm were negatively correlated with telomere length changes across early life. We also confirm previously documented effects of post hatch growth rate and clutch size on telomere length in a natural ecological context for a species that has been extensively studied in the laboratory. However, we did not detect any effect of ambient temperature during developmental on telomere length dynamics. We also found that the absolute telomere length of wild zebra finches, measured using the in-gel TRF method, was similar to that of captive birds. Our findings highlight exciting new opportunities to link and disentangle potential relationships between DNA based biomarkers of ageing, and of physiological reactions to environmental change.

2.
Evol Dev ; 23(4): 351-374, 2021 Jul.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34382741

RESUMEN

The capacity to respond to environmental challenges ultimately relies on phenotypic variation which manifests from complex interactions of genetic and nongenetic mechanisms through development. While we know something about genetic variation and structure of many species of conservation importance, we know very little about the nongenetic contributions to variation. Rhizophora mangle is a foundation species that occurs in coastal estuarine habitats throughout the neotropics where it provides critical ecosystem functions and is potentially threatened by anthropogenic environmental changes. Several studies have documented landscape-level patterns of genetic variation in this species, but we know virtually nothing about the inheritance of nongenetic variation. To assess one type of nongenetic variation, we examined the patterns of DNA sequence and DNA methylation in maternal plants and offspring from natural populations of R. mangle from the Gulf Coast of Florida. We used a reduced representation bisulfite sequencing approach (epi-genotyping by sequencing; epiGBS) to address the following questions: (a) What are the levels of genetic and epigenetic diversity in natural populations of R. mangle? (b) How are genetic and epigenetic variation structured within and among populations? (c) How faithfully is epigenetic variation inherited? We found low genetic diversity but high epigenetic diversity from natural populations of maternal plants in the field. In addition, a large portion (up to ~25%) of epigenetic differences among offspring grown in common garden was explained by maternal family. Therefore, epigenetic variation could be an important source of response to challenging environments in the genetically depauperate populations of this foundation species.

3.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252227, 2021.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34086730

RESUMEN

Individuals may delay dispersing from their natal habitat, even after maturation to adulthood. Such delays can have broad consequences from determining population structure to allowing an individual to gain indirect fitness by helping parents rear future offspring. Dispersal in species that use delayed dispersal is largely thought to be opportunistic; however, how individuals, particularly inexperienced juveniles, assess their environments to determine the appropriate time to disperse is unknown. One relatively unexplored possibility is that dispersal decisions are the result of epigenetic mechanisms interacting between a genome and environment during development to generate variable dispersive phenotypes. Here, we tested this using epiRADseq to compare genome-wide levels of DNA methylation of blood in cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babblers (Pomatostomus ruficeps). We measured dispersive and philopatric individuals at hatching, before fledging, and at 1 year (following when first year dispersal decisions would be made). We found that individuals that dispersed in their first year had a reduced proportion of methylated loci than philopatric individuals before fledging, but not at hatching or as adults. Further, individuals that dispersed in the first year had a greater number of loci change methylation state (i.e. gain or lose) between hatching and fledging. The existence and timing of these changes indicate some influence of development on epigenetic changes that may influence dispersal behavior. However, further work needs to be done to address exactly how developmental environments may be associated with dispersal decisions and which loci in particular are manipulated to generate such changes.


Asunto(s)
Metilación de ADN/genética , Passeriformes/genética , Pájaros Cantores/genética , Migración Animal/fisiología , Animales , Cruzamiento/métodos , Ecosistema , Femenino , Masculino , Dinámica Poblacional , Reproducción/genética
4.
J Exp Biol ; 224(Pt 6)2021 03 28.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33775934

RESUMEN

Epigenetic mechanisms may play a central role in mediating phenotypic plasticity, especially during range expansions, when populations face a suite of novel environmental conditions. Individuals may differ in their epigenetic potential (EP; their capacity for epigenetic modifications of gene expression), which may affect their ability to colonize new areas. One form of EP, the number of CpG sites, is higher in introduced house sparrows (Passer domesticus) than in native birds in the promoter region of a microbial surveillance gene, Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4), which may allow invading birds to fine-tune their immune responses to unfamiliar parasites. Here, we compared TLR4 gene expression from whole blood, liver and spleen in house sparrows with different EP, first challenging some birds with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), to increase gene expression by simulating a natural infection. We expected that high EP would predict high inducibility and reversibility of TLR4 expression in the blood of birds treated with LPS, but we did not make directional predictions regarding organs, as we could not repeatedly sample these tissues. We found that EP was predictive of TLR4 expression in all tissues. Birds with high EP expressed more TLR4 in the blood than individuals with low EP, regardless of treatment with LPS. Only females with high EP exhibited reversibility in gene expression. Further, the effect of EP varied between sexes and among tissues. Together, these data support EP as one regulator of TLR4 expression.


Asunto(s)
Gorriones , Animales , Epigénesis Genética , Femenino , Expresión Génica , Humanos , Lipopolisacáridos/farmacología , Gorriones/genética , Bazo
5.
Integr Comp Biol ; 60(6): 1458-1468, 2020 12 16.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32497186

RESUMEN

Epigenetic potential, defined as the capacity for epigenetically-mediated phenotypic plasticity, may play an important role during range expansions. During range expansions, populations may encounter relatively novel challenges while experiencing lower genetic diversity. Phenotypic plasticity via epigenetic potential might be selectively advantageous at the time of initial introduction or during spread into new areas, enabling introduced organisms to cope rapidly with novel challenges. Here, we asked whether one form of epigenetic potential (i.e., the abundance of CpG sites) in three microbial surveillance genes: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) 1B (TLR1B), 2A (TLR2A), and 4 (TLR4) varied between native and introduced house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Using an opportunistic approach based on samples collected from sparrow populations around the world, we found that introduced birds had more CpG sites in TLR2A and TLR4, but not TLR1B, than native ones. Introduced birds also lost more CpG sites in TLR1B, gained more CpG sites in TLR2A, and lost fewer CpG sites in TLR4 compared to native birds. These results were not driven by differences in genetic diversity or population genetic structure, and many CpG sites fell within predicted transcription factor binding sites (TFBS), with losses and gains of CpG sites altering predicted TFBS. Although we lacked statistical power to conduct the most rigorous possible analyses, these results suggest that epigenetic potential may play a role in house sparrow range expansions, but additional work will be critical to elucidating how epigenetic potential affects gene expression and hence phenotypic plasticity at the individual, population, and species levels.


Asunto(s)
Gorriones , Animales , Epigénesis Genética , Epigenómica , Expresión Génica , Gorriones/genética
6.
Integr Comp Biol ; 57(2): 385-395, 2017 08 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28859411

RESUMEN

SYNOPSIS: During range expansions, organisms are often exposed to multiple pressures, including novel enemies (i.e., predators, competitors and/or parasites) and unfamiliar or limited resources. Additionally, small propagule sizes at range edges can result in genetic founder effects and bottlenecks, which can affect phenotypic diversity and thus selection. Despite these obstacles, individuals in expanding populations often thrive at the periphery of a range, and this success may be mediated by phenotypic plasticity. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms may underlie such plasticity because they allow for more rapid phenotypic responses to novel environments than are possible via the accumulation of genetic variation. Here, we review how molecular epigenetic mechanisms could facilitate plasticity in range-expanding organisms, emphasizing the roles of DNA methylation and other epigenetic marks in the physiological regulatory networks that drive whole-organism performance. We focus on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, arguing that epigenetically-mediated plasticity in the regulation of glucocorticoids in particular might strongly impact range expansions. We hypothesize that novel environments release and/or select for epigenetic potential in HPA variation and hence organismal performance and ultimately fitness.


Asunto(s)
Distribución Animal/fisiología , Epigénesis Genética , Sistema Hipotálamo-Hipofisario/fisiología , Sistema Hipófiso-Suprarrenal/fisiología , Vertebrados/fisiología , Animales , Metilación de ADN , Ambiente , Variación Genética , Fenotipo , Vertebrados/genética
7.
J Exp Biol ; 220(Pt 21): 4016-4023, 2017 11 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28877923

RESUMEN

Epigenetic modifications can respond rapidly to environmental changes and can shape phenotypic variation in accordance with environmental stimuli. One of the most studied epigenetic marks is DNA methylation. In the present study, we used the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique to investigate the natural variation in DNA methylation within and among subspecies of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus We focused on five subspecies from the Middle East because they show great variation in many ecological traits and because this region is the probable origin for the house sparrow's commensal relationship with humans. We analysed house sparrows from Spain as an outgroup. The level of variation in DNA methylation was similar among the five house sparrow subspecies from the Middle East despite high phenotypic and environmental variation, but the non-commensal subspecies was differentiated from the other four (commensal) Middle Eastern subspecies. Further, the European subspecies was differentiated from all other subspecies in DNA methylation. Our results indicate that variation in DNA methylation does not strictly follow subspecies designations. We detected a correlation between methylation level and some morphological traits, such as standardized bill length, and we suggest that part of the high morphological variation in the native populations of the house sparrow is influenced by differentially methylated regions in specific loci throughout the genome. We also detected 10 differentially methylated loci among subspecies and three loci that differentiated between commensal or non-commensal status. Therefore, the MSAP technique detected larger scale differences among the European and non-commensal subspecies, but did not detect finer scale differences among the other Middle Eastern subspecies.


Asunto(s)
Metilación de ADN , Epigénesis Genética , Polimorfismo Genético , Gorriones/genética , Adaptación Biológica , Animales , Femenino , Masculino , Medio Oriente , España , Especificidad de la Especie
8.
J Hered ; 107(7): 654-659, 2016.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27638815

RESUMEN

Wildfires are highly variable and can disturb habitats, leading to direct and indirect effects on the genetic characteristics of local populations. Florida scrub is a fire-dependent, highly fragmented, and severely threatened habitat. Understanding the effect of fire on genetic characteristics of the species that use this habitat is critically important. We investigated one such lizard, the Six-lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata), which has a strong preference for open areas. We collected Six-lined Racerunners (n = 154) from 11 sites in Highlands County, FL, and defined 2 time-since-last-fire (TSF) categories: recently burned and long unburned. We screened genetic variation at 6 microsatellites to estimate genetic differentiation and compare genetic diversity among sites to determine the relationship with TSF. A clear pattern exists between genetic diversity and TSF in the absence of strong genetic differentiation. Genetic diversity was greater and inbreeding was lower in sites with more recent TSF, and genetic characteristics had significantly larger variance in long unburned sites compared with more recently burned sites. Our results suggest that fire suppression increases variance in genetic characteristics of the Six-lined Racerunner. More generally, fire may benefit genetic characteristics of some species that use fire-dependent habitats and management efforts for such severely fragmented habitat will be challenged by the presence of multiple species with incompatible fire preferences.


Asunto(s)
Incendios , Variación Genética , Genética de Población , Lagartos/genética , Animales , Ecosistema , Florida
9.
Proc Biol Sci ; 283(1836)2016 Aug 17.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27512147

RESUMEN

Stress hormones might represent a key link between individual-level infection outcome, population-level parasite transmission, and zoonotic disease risk. Although the effects of stress on immunity are well known, stress hormones could also affect host-vector interactions via modification of host behaviours or vector-feeding patterns and subsequent reproductive success. Here, we experimentally manipulated songbird stress hormones and examined subsequent feeding preferences, feeding success, and productivity of mosquito vectors in addition to defensive behaviours of hosts. Despite being more defensive, birds with elevated stress hormone concentrations were approximately twice as likely to be fed on by mosquitoes compared to control birds. Moreover, stress hormones altered the relationship between the timing of laying and clutch size in blood-fed mosquitoes. Our results suggest that host stress could affect the transmission dynamics of vector-borne parasites via multiple pathways.


Asunto(s)
Corticosterona/sangre , Culicidae/fisiología , Conducta Alimentaria , Pinzones/sangre , Estrés Fisiológico , Animales , Pinzones/parasitología , Insectos Vectores/fisiología , Zoonosis
10.
J Hered ; 107(4): 336-41, 2016 Jul.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26976940

RESUMEN

Effective population size is a fundamental parameter in population genetics, and factors that alter effective population size will shape the genetic characteristics of populations. Habitat disturbance may have a large effect on genetic characteristics of populations by influencing immigration and gene flow, particularly in fragmented habitats. We used the Florida Sand Skink (Plestiodon reynoldsi) to investigate the effect of fire-based habitat disturbances on the effective population size in the highly threatened, severely fragmented, and fire dependent Florida scrub habitat. We screened 7 microsatellite loci in 604 individuals collected from 12 locations at Archbold Biological Station. Archbold Biological Station has an active fire management plan and detailed records of fires dating to 1967. Our objective was to determine how the timing, number, and intervals between fires affect effective population size, focusing on multiple fires in the same location. Effective population size was higher in areas that had not been burned for more than 10 years and decreased with number of fires and shorter time between fires. A similar pattern was observed in abundance: increasing abundance with time-since-fire and decreasing abundance with number of fires. The ratio of effective population size to census size was higher at sites with more recent fires and tended to decrease with time-since-last-fire. These results suggest that habitat disturbances, such as fire, may have a large effect in the genetic characteristics of local populations and that Florida Sand Skinks are well adapted to the natural fire dynamics required to maintain Florida scrub.


Asunto(s)
Ecosistema , Incendios , Densidad de Población , Animales , Florida , Variación Genética , Genética de Población , Lagartos/genética , Repeticiones de Microsatélite
11.
Environ Epigenet ; 2(2): dvw008, 2016 Apr.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29492288

RESUMEN

Epigenetic mechanisms may be important for a native species' response to rapid environmental change. Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta Santschi, 1916) were recently introduced to areas occupied by the Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus Bosc & Daudin, 1801). Behavioral, morphological and physiological phenotypes of the Eastern Fence Lizard have changed following invasion, creating a natural biological system to investigate environmentally induced epigenetic changes. We tested for variation in DNA methylation patterns in Eastern Fence Lizard populations associated with different histories of invasion by Red Imported Fire Ants. At methylation sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism loci, we detected a higher diversity of methylation in Eastern Fence Lizard populations from Fire Ant uninvaded versus invaded sites, and uninvaded sites had higher methylation. Our results suggest that invasive species may alter methylation frequencies and the pattern of methylation among native individuals. While our data indicate a high level of intrinsic variability in DNA methylation, DNA methylation at some genomic loci may underlie observed phenotypic changes in Eastern Fence Lizard populations in response to invasion of Red Imported Fire Ants. This process may be important in facilitating adaptation of native species to novel pressures imposed by a rapidly changing environment.

12.
Ecol Evol ; 5(3): 634-47, 2015 Feb.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25691987

RESUMEN

Environmentally induced phenotypic plasticity may be a critical component of response to changing environments. We examined local differentiation and adaptive phenotypic plasticity in response to elevated temperature in half-sib lines collected across an elevation gradient for the alpine herb, Wahlenbergia ceracea. Using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP), we found low but significant genetic differentiation between low- and high-elevation seedlings, and seedlings originating from low elevations grew faster and showed stronger temperature responses (more plasticity) than those from medium and high elevations. Furthermore, plasticity was more often adaptive for plants of low-elevation origin and maladaptive for plants of high elevation. With methylation sensitive-AFLP (MS-AFLP), we revealed an increase in epigenetic variation in response to temperature in low-elevation seedlings. Although we did not find significant direct correlations between MS-AFLP loci and phenotypes, our results demonstrate that adaptive plasticity in temperature response to warming varies over fine spatial scales and suggest the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in this response.

13.
Mol Ecol ; 24(4): 710-25, 2015 Feb.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25604587

RESUMEN

Molecular ecology has moved beyond the use of a relatively small number of markers, often noncoding, and it is now possible to use whole-genome measures of gene expression with microarrays and RNAseq (i.e. transcriptomics) to capture molecular response to environmental challenges. While transcriptome studies are shedding light on the mechanistic basis of traits as complex as personality or physiological response to catastrophic events, these approaches are still challenging because of the required technical expertise, difficulties with analysis and cost. Still, we found that in the last 10 years, 575 studies used microarrays or RNAseq in ecology. These studies broadly address three questions that reflect the progression of the field: (i) How much variation in gene expression is there and how is it structured? (ii) How do environmental stimuli affect gene expression? (iii) How does gene expression affect phenotype? We discuss technical aspects of RNAseq and microarray technology, and a framework that leverages the advantages of both. Further, we highlight future directions of research, particularly related to moving beyond correlation and the development of additional annotation resources. Measuring gene expression across an array of taxa in ecological settings promises to enrich our understanding of ecology and genome function.


Asunto(s)
Evolución Biológica , Ecología/métodos , Perfilación de la Expresión Génica/tendencias , Genética de Población , Animales , Ambiente , Expresión Génica , Análisis de Secuencia por Matrices de Oligonucleótidos , Fenotipo , Plantas , Análisis de Secuencia de ARN , Transcriptoma
14.
J Hered ; 105(2): 226-36, 2014.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24381182

RESUMEN

Hybridization can be an important evolutionary force by generating new species and influencing evolution of parental species in multiple ways, including introgression and the consequences of hybrid vigor. Determining the ecological processes underlying evolution in hybrid zones is difficult however because it requires examining changes in both genotypic frequencies over time and corresponding ecological information, data that are rarely collected together. Here, we describe genetic and ecological aspects of a hybrid zone between the Eastern Fence Lizard, Sceloporus undulatus, and the Florida Scrub Lizard, Sceloporus woodi, occurring over at least 23 generations. The hybrid zone, discovered greater than 35 years ago using morphological characters, originally consisted of nearly even proportions of parental species and hybrids. Now, using genetic markers (species-diagnostic mtDNA sites and 6 nDNA microsatellite loci across a total of n = 117 individuals), we confirm not only that hybridization occurred but also that subsequent backcrossing has resulted in highly introgressed hybrids, with many hybrids containing mitochondrial DNA from one species on a nuclear DNA background of the other. Ecological aspects explaining these shifts in genetic composition include female mate choice, changes in habitat associated with secondary succession, and, most strongly, a hierarchy of male territorial advantage-ecological mechanisms likely to be involved in the emergence and disappearance of many animal hybrid zones. Our results suggest that genetic assimilation is not a significant threat to either species and that rather transient hybrid zones such as this may serve to increase genetic diversity and are candidates for causing genetic discordance in phylogeographic analyses.


Asunto(s)
Agresión , Evolución Molecular , Hibridación Genética , Lagartos/genética , Preferencia en el Apareamiento Animal , Animales , ADN Mitocondrial/genética , ADN Mitocondrial/aislamiento & purificación , Ecosistema , Femenino , Frecuencia de los Genes , Sitios Genéticos , Marcadores Genéticos , Variación Genética , Genotipo , Lagartos/clasificación , Masculino , Repeticiones de Microsatélite , Filogeografía , Especificidad de la Especie
15.
Proc Biol Sci ; 281(1774): 20132690, 2014 Jan 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24258722

RESUMEN

Interactions between hosts and parasites influence the success of host introductions and range expansions post-introduction. However, the physiological mechanisms mediating these outcomes are little known. In some vertebrates, variation in the regulation of inflammation has been implicated, perhaps because inflammation imparts excessive costs, including high resource demands and collateral damage upon encounter with novel parasites. Here, we tested the hypothesis that variation in the regulation of inflammation contributed to the spread of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) across Kenya, one of the world's most recent invasions of this species. Specifically, we asked whether inflammatory gene expression declines with population age (i.e. distance from Mombasa (dfM), the site of introduction around 1950). We compared expression of two microbe surveillance molecules (Toll-like receptors, TLRs-2 and 4) and a proinflammatory cytokine (interleukin-6, IL-6) before and after an injection of an immunogenic component of Gram-negative bacteria (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) among six sparrow populations. We then used a best-subset model selection approach to determine whether population age (dfM) or other factors (e.g. malaria or coccidian infection, sparrow density or genetic group membership) best-explained gene expression. For baseline expression of TLR-2 and TLR-4, population age tended to be the best predictor with expression decreasing with population age, although other factors were also important. Induced expression of TLRs was affected by LPS treatment alone. For induced IL-6, only LPS treatment reliably predicted expression; baseline expression was not explained by any factor. These data suggest that changes in microbe surveillance, more so than downstream control of inflammation via cytokines, might have been important to the house sparrow invasion of Kenya.


Asunto(s)
Interacciones Huésped-Patógeno/genética , Passeriformes/microbiología , Migración Animal , Animales , Resistencia a la Enfermedad/genética , Expresión Génica , Geografía , Especies Introducidas , Modelos Biológicos , Passeriformes/genética , Passeriformes/fisiología , Densidad de Población
16.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 781: 191-210, 2014.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24277301

RESUMEN

Biologists have assumed that heritable variation due to DNA sequence differences (i.e., genetic variation) allows populations of organisms to be both robust and adaptable to extreme environmental conditions. Natural selection acts on the variation among different genotypes and ultimately changes the genetic composition of the population. While there is compelling evidence about the importance of genetic polymorphisms, evidence is accumulating that epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., chromatin modifications, DNA methylation) can affect ecologically important traits, even in the absence of genetic variation. In this chapter, we review this evidence and discuss the consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. We begin by defining the term epigenetics, providing a brief overview of various epigenetic mechanisms, and noting the potential importance of epigenetics in the study of ecology. We continue with a review of the ecological epigenetics literature to demonstrate what is currently known about the amount and distribution of epigenetic variation in natural populations. Then, we consider the various ecological contexts in which epigenetics has proven particularly insightful and discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of epigenetic variation. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for future directions of ecological epigenetics research.


Asunto(s)
Metilación de ADN/fisiología , Epigénesis Genética/fisiología , Interacción Gen-Ambiente , Metagenómica , Plantas/genética , Polimorfismo Genético
17.
J Hered ; 105(1): 60-9, 2014.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24336863

RESUMEN

Introduced species offer an opportunity to study the ecological process of range expansions. Recently, 3 mechanisms have been identified that may resolve the genetic paradox (the seemingly unlikely success of introduced species given the expected reduction in genetic diversity through bottlenecks or founder effects): multiple introductions, high propagule pressure, and epigenetics. These mechanisms are probably also important in range expansions (either natural or anthropogenic), yet this possibility remains untested in vertebrates. We used microsatellite variation (7 loci) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), an introduced species that has been spreading across Kenya for ~60 years, to determine if patterns of variation could explain how this human commensal overcame the genetic paradox and expresses such considerable phenotypic differentiation across this new range. We note that in some cases, polygenic traits and epistasis among genes, for example, may not have negative effects on populations. House sparrows arrived in Kenya by a single introduction event (to Mombasa, ~1950) and have lower genetic diversity than native European and introduced North American populations. We used Bayesian clustering of individuals (n = 233) to detect that at least 2 types of range expansion occurred in Kenya: one with genetic admixture and one with little to no admixture. We also found that genetic diversity increased toward a range edge, and the range expansion was consistent with long-distance dispersal. Based on these data, we expect that the Kenyan range expansion was anthropogenically influenced, as the expansions of other introduced human commensals may also be.


Asunto(s)
Distribución Animal , Gorriones/clasificación , Gorriones/genética , Animales , Teorema de Bayes , Análisis por Conglomerados , Efecto Fundador , Sitios Genéticos , Variación Genética , Especies Introducidas , Kenia , Repeticiones de Microsatélite , Fenotipo , Filogeografía
18.
Integr Comp Biol ; 53(2): 340-50, 2013 Aug.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23583961

RESUMEN

Ecological Epigenetics studies the relationship between epigenetic variation and ecologically relevant phenotypic variation. As molecular epigenetic mechanisms often control gene expression, even across generations, they may impact many evolutionary processes. Multiple molecular epigenetic mechanisms exist, but methylation of DNA so far has dominated the Ecological Epigenetic literature. There are several molecular techniques used to screen methylation of DNA; here, we focus on the most common technique, methylation-sensitive-AFLP (MS-AFLP), which is used to identify genome-wide methylation patterns. We review studies that used MS-AFLP to address ecological questions, that describe which taxa have been investigated, and that identify general trends in the field. We then discuss, noting the general themes, four studies across taxa that demonstrate characteristics that increase the inferences that can be made from MS-AFLP data; we suggest that future MS-AFLP studies should incorporate these methods and techniques. We then review the short-comings of MS-AFLP and suggest alternative techniques that might address some of these limitations. Finally, we make specific suggestions for future research on MS-AFLP and identify questions that are most compelling and tractable in the short term.


Asunto(s)
Análisis del Polimorfismo de Longitud de Fragmentos Amplificados/tendencias , Metilación de ADN/genética , Ecología/tendencias , Epigenómica/tendencias , Análisis del Polimorfismo de Longitud de Fragmentos Amplificados/métodos , Animales , Evolución Biológica , Variación Genética , Fenotipo
19.
Integr Comp Biol ; 53(2): 351-8, 2013 Aug.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23535948

RESUMEN

The spread of invasive species presents a genetic paradox: how do individuals overcome the genetic barriers associated with introductions (e.g., bottlenecks and founder effects) to become adapted to the new environment? In addition to genetic diversity, epigenetic variation also contributes to phenotypic variation and could influence the spread of an introduced species in novel environments. This may occur through two different (non-mutually exclusive) mechanisms. Individuals may benefit from existing (and heritable) epigenetic diversity or de novo epigenetic marks may increase in response to the new environment; both mechanisms might increase flexibility in new environments. Although epigenetic changes in invasive plants have been described, no data yet exist on the epigenetic changes throughout a range expansion of a vertebrate. Here, we used methylation sensitive-amplified fragment length polymorphism to explore genome-wide patterns of methylation in an expanding population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). House sparrows were introduced to Kenya in the 1950s and have significant phenotypic variation dependent on the time since colonization. We found that Kenyan house sparrows had high levels of variation in methylation across the genome. Interestingly, there was a significant, potentially compensatory relationship between epigenetic and genetic diversity: epigenetic diversity was negatively correlated with genetic diversity and positively correlated with inbreeding across the range expansion. Thus, methylation may increase phenotypic variation and/or plasticity in response to new environments and therefore be an important source of inter-individual variation for adaptation in these environments, particularly over the short timescales over which invasions occur.


Asunto(s)
Adaptación Fisiológica/genética , Metilación de ADN/genética , Especies Introducidas , Pájaros Cantores/genética , Gorriones/genética , Animales , Ambiente , Epigenómica , Femenino , Efecto Fundador , Kenia , Masculino , Fenotipo
20.
Ecol Lett ; 15(9): 1016-25, 2012 Sep.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22731923

RESUMEN

The expansion of invasive species challenges our understanding of the process of adaptation. Given that the invasion process often entails population bottlenecks, it is surprising that many invasives appear to thrive even with low levels of sequence-based genetic variation. Using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation sensitive-AFLP (MS-AFLP) markers, we tested the hypothesis that differentiation of invasive Japanese knotweed in response to new habitats is more correlated with epigenetic variation than DNA sequence variation. We found that the relatively little genetic variation present was differentiated among species, with less differentiation among sites within species. In contrast, we found a great deal of epigenetic differentiation among sites within each species and evidence that some epigenetic loci may respond to local microhabitat conditions. Our findings indicate that epigenetic effects could contribute to phenotypic variation in genetically depauperate invasive populations. Deciphering whether differences in methylation patterns are the cause or effect of habitat differentiation will require manipulative studies.


Asunto(s)
Epigénesis Genética , Fallopia japonica/genética , Variación Genética , Especies Introducidas , Análisis del Polimorfismo de Longitud de Fragmentos Amplificados , Ecosistema , Fallopia japonica/crecimiento & desarrollo , Genotipo , Fenotipo , Dinámica Poblacional
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