Adaptive evolution of multiple traits through multiple mutations at a single gene


Linnen CR, Poh YP, Peterson BK, Barrett RD, Larson JG, Jensen JD, Hoekstra HE. Adaptive evolution of multiple traits through multiple mutations at a single gene. Science 2013;339:1312-6.
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Date Published:

Mar 15


The identification of precise mutations is required for a complete understanding of the underlying molecular and evolutionary mechanisms driving adaptive phenotypic change. Using plasticine models in the field, we show that the light coat color of deer mice that recently colonized the light-colored soil of the Nebraska Sand Hills provides a strong selective advantage against visually hunting predators. Color variation in an admixed population suggests that this light Sand Hills phenotype is composed of multiple traits. We identified distinct regions within the Agouti locus associated with each color trait and found that only haplotypes associated with light trait values have evidence of selection. Thus, local adaptation is the result of independent selection on many mutations within a single locus, each with a specific effect on an adaptive phenotype, thereby minimizing pleiotropic consequences.


Linnen, Catherine RPoh, Yu-PingPeterson, Brant KBarrett, Rowan D HLarson, Joanna GJensen, Jeffrey DHoekstra, Hopi Eeng308796/European Research Council/InternationalResearch Support, N.I.H., ExtramuralResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tResearch Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.New York, N.Y.2013/03/16 06:00Science. 2013 Mar 15;339(6125):1312-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1233213.

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Last updated on 05/28/2015