Disentangling the role of phenotypic plasticity and genetic divergence in contemporary ecotype formation during a biological invasion

Lucek, Kay Jurka Olaf; Sivasundar, Arjun; Seehausen, Ole (2014). Disentangling the role of phenotypic plasticity and genetic divergence in contemporary ecotype formation during a biological invasion. Evolution, 68(9), pp. 2619-2632. Wiley 10.1111/evo.12443

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The occurrence of contemporary ecotype formation through adaptive divergence of populations within the range of an invasive species typically requires standing genetic variation but can be facilitated by phenotypic plasticity. The relative contributions of both of these to adaptive trait differentiation have rarely been simultaneously quantified in recently diverging vertebrate populations. Here we study a case of intraspecific divergence into distinct lake and stream ecotypes of threespine stickleback that evolved in the past 140 years within the invasive range in Switzerland. Using a controlled laboratory experiment with full-sib crosses and treatments mimicking a key feature of ecotypic niche divergence, we test if the phenotypic divergence that we observe in the wild results from phenotypic plasticity or divergent genetic predisposition. Our experimental groups show qualitatively similar phenotypic divergence as those observed among wild adults. The relative contribution of plasticity and divergent genetic predisposition differs among the traits studied, with traits related to the biomechanics of feeding showing a stronger genetic predisposition, whereas traits related to locomotion are mainly plastic. These results implicate that phenotypic plasticity and standing genetic variation interacted during contemporary ecotype formation in this case.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Lucek, Kay Jurka Olaf; Sivasundar, Arjun and Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0014-3820

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

21 Jul 2015 08:01

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2015 09:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/evo.12443

PubMed ID:

24766190

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.70369

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/70369

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