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A functional genomic investigation of an alternative life history strategy: The Alba polymorphism in Colias croceus
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3017-6069
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Life history traits affect the timing and pattern of maturation, reproduction, and survival during an organism’s lifecycle and are the major components influencing Darwinian fitness. Co-evolved patterns of these traits are known as life history strategies (LHS) and variation occurs between individuals, populations, and species. The polymorphisms underlying LHS are important targets of natural selection, yet the underlying genes and physiological mechanisms remain largely unknown. Mapping the genetic basis of a LHS and subsequently unraveling the associated physiological mechanisms is a challenging task, as complex phenotypes are often polygenic. However, in several systems discrete LHS are maintained within the population and are inherited as a single locus with pleiotropic effects. These systems provide a promising starting point for investigation into LHS mechanisms and this thesis focuses on one such strategy - the Alba polymorphism in Colias butterflies. Alba is inherited as a single autosomal locus, expressed only in females, and simultaneously affects development rate, reproductive potential, and wing color. Alba females are white, while the alternative morph is yellow/orange. About 28 of 90 species exhibit polymorphic females, though whether the Alba mechanism and associated tradeoffs are conserved across the genus remains to be determined. In this thesis I primarily focus on the species Colias croceus and integrate results from lipidomics, transcriptomics, microscopy, and genomics to gain insights to the proximate mechanisms underlying Alba and Alba’s evolution within the genus. Lipidomics confirm that, consistent with findings in New World species, C. croceus Alba females have larger abdominal lipid stores than orange, an advantage which is temperature dependent and arises primarily due to mobilized lipids. Gene expression data suggests differences in resource allocation, with Alba females investing in reproduction rather than wing color, consistent with previous findings in other Colias species. Additionally, I identify a morphological basis for Alba’s white wing color. Alba females from C. croceus, an Old World species, and Colias eurytheme, a New World species both exhibit a significant reduction in pigment granules, the structures within the wing scale that contain pigment. This is a trait that seems to be unique to Colias as other white Pierid butterflies have an abundance of pigment granules, similar to orange females. I also map the genetic basis of Alba to a single genomic region containing an Alba specific, Jockey-like transposable element insertion. Interestingly this transposable element​ is located downstream of BarH-1, a gene known to affect pigment granule formation in Drosophila. Finally, I construct a phylogeny using a global distribution of 20 Colias species to facilitate investigations of Alba’s evolution within the genus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University , 2017. , p. 30
Keyword [en]
alternative life history strategy, butterfly wing color, Alba, Colias, color polymorphism, dimorphism, life history traits, physiology, lipidomics, genomics, pooled sequencing, phylogenomics, RNA-Seq, Pool-Seq
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Population Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147351ISBN: 978-91-7649-992-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7649-993-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147351DiVA, id: diva2:1143962
Public defence
2017-11-10, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-10-18 Created: 2017-09-24 Last updated: 2017-10-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Advances in finding Alba: the locus affecting life history and color polymorphism in a Colias butterfly
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Advances in finding Alba: the locus affecting life history and color polymorphism in a Colias butterfly
2017 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 26-39Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although alternative life-history strategies exist within many populations, very little is known about their genetic basis and mechanistic insight into these traits could greatly advance the understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics. Many species of butterfly within the genus Colias exhibit a sex-limited wing colour polymorphism, called Alba, which is correlated with an alternative life-history strategy. Here, we have taken the first steps in localizing the region carrying Alba in Colias croceus, a species with no genomic resources, by generating whole genome sequence of a single Alba mother and two sequencing pools, one for her Alba and another for her orange, offspring. These data were used in a bulk-segregant analysis wherein SNPs fulfilling the Mendelian inheritance expectations of Alba were identified. Then, using the conserved synteny in Lepidoptera, the Alba locus was assigned to chromosome 15 in Bombyx mori. We then identified candidate regions within the chromosome by investigating the distribution of Alba SNPs along the chromosome and the difference in nucleotide diversity in exons between the two pools. A region spanning similar to 5.7 Mbp at the 50 end of the chromosome was identified as likely to contain the Alba locus. These insights set the stage for more detailed genomic scans and mapping of the Alba phenotype, and demonstrate an efficient use of genomic resources in a novel species.

Keyword
Alba, Colias, colour polymorphism, life-history polymorphism, pooled sequencing
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Population Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141267 (URN)10.1111/jeb.12967 (DOI)000394852200003 ()27541292 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2017-04-07 Created: 2017-04-07 Last updated: 2017-09-27Bibliographically approved
2. A transposable element insertion is associated with a female-limited, alternative life history strategy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A transposable element insertion is associated with a female-limited, alternative life history strategy
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Genetics Zoology
Research subject
Population Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147392 (URN)
Available from: 2017-09-26 Created: 2017-09-26 Last updated: 2017-10-02
3. Physiological differences between female limited, alternative life history strategies: the Alba phenotype in the butterfly Colias croceus
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Physiological differences between female limited, alternative life history strategies: the Alba phenotype in the butterfly Colias croceus
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Population Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147401 (URN)
Available from: 2017-09-26 Created: 2017-09-26 Last updated: 2017-10-02
4. A phylogenetic analysis of butterflies in the genus Colias
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A phylogenetic analysis of butterflies in the genus Colias
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Population Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147405 (URN)
Available from: 2017-09-26 Created: 2017-09-26 Last updated: 2017-10-01

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