Adaptation of Redband Trout in Desert and Montane Environments
Natural populations that evolve under extreme climates are likely to diverge because of selection in local environments. To explore whether local adaptation has occurred in Redband Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) occupying differing climate regimes, we used a limited genome scan approach to test for candidate markers under selection in populations occurring in desert and montane streams. An environmental approach to identifying outlier loci, spatial analysis method and linear regression of minor allele frequency with environmental variables revealed six candidate markers (P < 0.01). Putatively neutral markers identified high genetic differentiation among desert populations relative to montane sites, likely due to intermittent flows in desert streams. Additionally, populations exhibited a highly significant pattern of isolation by temperature (P < 0.0001) and those adapted to the same environment had similar allele frequencies across candidate markers, indicating selection for differing climates. These results imply that many genes are involved in the adaptation of Redband Trout to differing environments, and selection acts to reinforce localization. The potential to predict genetic adaptability of individuals and populations to changing environmental conditions may have profound implications for species that face extensive anthropogenic disturbances.
Narum, S.R., N.R. Campbell, C.C. Kozfkay, and K.A. Meyer. 2010. Adaptation of Redband Trout in desert and montane environments. Molecular Ecology 19(21):4622-4637. Online at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04839.x.