Parallel divergent adaptation along replicated altitudinal gradients in Alpine trout

Keller, Irene; Schuler, Jolanda; Bezault, Etienne; Seehausen, Ole (2012). Parallel divergent adaptation along replicated altitudinal gradients in Alpine trout. BMC evolutionary biology, 12(1), p. 210. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1471-2148-12-210

1471-2148-12-210.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (2MB) | Preview

Background The European trout (Salmo trutta species complex) occurs across a very wide altitudinal range from lowland rivers to alpine streams. Historically, the major European river systems contained different, evolutionarily distinct trout lineages, and some of this genetic diversity has persisted in spite of extensive human-mediated translocations. We used AFLP-based genome scans to investigate the extent of potentially adaptive divergence among major drainages and along altitudinal gradients replicated in several rivers. Results The proportion of loci showing evidence of divergent selection was larger between drainages than along altitudinal transects within drainages. This suggests divergent selection is stronger between drainages, or adaptive divergence is constrained by gene flow among populations within drainages, although the latter could not be confirmed at a more local scale. Still, altitudinal divergence occurred and, at approximately 2% of the markers, parallel changes of the AFLP band frequencies with altitude were observed suggesting that altitude may well be an important source of divergent selection within rivers. Conclusions Our results indicate that adaptive genetic divergence is common both between major European river systems and along altitudinal gradients within drainages. Alpine trout appear to be a promising model system to investigate the relative roles of divergent selection and gene flow in promoting or preventing adaptation to climate gradients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Keller, Irene and Seehausen, Ole




BioMed Central




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:40

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2016 10:34

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 223932)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback