Genetic response to pollution in sticklebacks; natural selection in the wild
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The last century, humans have been altering almost all natural environments at an accelerating rate, including the Baltic Sea that has highly eutrophicated areas and many coastal industries such as Pulp-mills. For animals living in a habitat that changes there are basically two alternatives, either to cope with the change or become locally extinct. This thesis aims to investigate if recent anthropogenic disturbance in the Baltic Sea can affect natural populations on a genetic level through natural selection.
First, we found a fine-scale genetic structure in three-spine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) populations along the Swedish coast (paper I), indicating limited gene-flow between populations in geographic proximity. Different genetic markers, specifically Amplified Fragment Lenght Polymorpism (AFLP, and microsatellites, gave different results, highlighting the heterogeneous character of genomes which demonstrates that it is important to choose a genetic marker that is relevant for the question at hand. With a population genomic approach, and a multilocus genetic marker (AFLP), we detected convergent evolution in genotype composition in stickleback populations living in environments affected by pulp-mill effluent (paper II) and in highly eutrophicated environments (paper III), compared to adjacent reference populations. We found loci, in both studies (paper II, III), that were different from a neutral distribution and thus probably under divergent selection for the habitat differences investigated. The selective effect from pulp-mill effluents were more pronounced, but the two different habitats had mutual characters (AFLP loci). In paper IV, we converted five anonymous AFLP loci to sequenced markers and aligned them to the stickleback genome. Four out of five loci aligned within, or close to, coding regions on chromosome I, chromosome VIII, chromosome XIX and chromosome XX. One of the loci, located on chromosome VIII and identified as under divergent selection in both paper II and III, has been identified in other studies as to be under selection for fresh water adaptation, including Baltic Sea stickleback populations.
In conclusion, anthropogenic alterations of natural environments can have evolutionary consequences, probably adaptive, for the animals living there and the evolutionary response exhibited by natural populations can be very fast.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University , 2013. , 41 p.
Södertörn doctoral dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 79
Population genomics, genome scan, divergent selection, Gasterosteus aculeatus, Baltic Sea, pollution
Evolutionary Biology Genetics Environmental Sciences
Research subject Functional Zoomorphology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89486ISBN: 978-91-7447-702-3ISBN: 978-91-86069-67-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-89486DiVA: diva2:618287
2013-06-14, Ahlmansalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Oleksiak, Marjorie, Associate Professor
Grahn, Mats, Docent
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.2013-05-162013-04-262013-05-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers