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Negative frequency dependent selection contributes to the maintenance of a global polymorphism in mitochondrial DNA
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Ekselius: Psychiatry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology. Uppsala Univ, Anim Ecol, Dept Ecol & Genet, Evolutionary Biol Ctr, Norbyvagen 18D, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden.
Univ Belgrade, Fac Biol, Studentski Trg 16, Belgrade 11000, Serbia.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3501-3376
2020 (English)In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1471-2148, E-ISSN 1471-2148, Vol. 20, article id 20Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Understanding the forces that maintain diversity across a range of scales is at the very heart of biology. Frequency-dependent processes are generally recognized as the most central process for the maintenance of ecological diversity. The same is, however, not generally true for genetic diversity. Negative frequency dependent selection, where rare genotypes have an advantage, is often regarded as a relatively weak force in maintaining genetic variation in life history traits because recombination disassociates alleles across many genes. Yet, many regions of the genome show low rates of recombination and genetic variation in such regions (i.e., supergenes) may in theory be upheld by frequency dependent selection.

Results: We studied what is essentially a ubiquitous life history supergene (i.e., mitochondrial DNA) in the fruit fly Drosophila subobscura, showing sympatric polymorphism with two main mtDNA genotypes co-occurring in populations world-wide. Using an experimental evolution approach involving manipulations of genotype starting frequencies, we show that negative frequency dependent selection indeed acts to maintain genetic variation in this region. Moreover, the strength of selection was affected by food resource conditions.

Conclusions: Our work provides novel experimental support for the view that balancing selection through negative frequency dependency acts to maintain genetic variation in life history genes. We suggest that the emergence of negative frequency dependent selection on mtDNA is symptomatic of the fundamental link between ecological processes related to resource use and the maintenance of genetic variation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMC , 2020. Vol. 20, article id 20
Keywords [en]
Balancing selection, Mitochondria, mtDNA, Polymorphism, Negative frequency dependent selection
National Category
Genetics Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-407284DOI: 10.1186/s12862-020-1581-2ISI: 000513931600003PubMedID: 32019493OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-407284DiVA, id: diva2:1416735
Funder
EU, European Research Council, GENCON AdG-294333Swedish Research Council, 621-2014-4523Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationEU, Horizon 2020, 656338Available from: 2020-03-25 Created: 2020-03-25 Last updated: 2020-03-25Bibliographically approved

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