Genomics of Parallel Experimental Evolution in Drosophila

Mol Biol Evol. 2017 Apr 1;34(4):831-842. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msw282.


What are the genomic foundations of adaptation in sexual populations? We address this question using fitness-character and whole-genome sequence data from 30 Drosophila laboratory populations. These 30 populations are part of a nearly 40-year laboratory radiation featuring 3 selection regimes, each shared by 10 populations for up to 837 generations, with moderately large effective population sizes. Each of 3 sets of the 10 populations that shared a selection regime consists of 5 populations that have long been maintained under that selection regime, paired with 5 populations that had only recently been subjected to that selection regime. We find a high degree of evolutionary parallelism in fitness phenotypes when most-recent selection regimes are shared, as in previous studies from our laboratory. We also find genomic parallelism with respect to the frequencies of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, transposable elements, insertions, and structural variants, which was expected. Entirely unexpected was a high degree of parallelism for linkage disequilibrium. The evolutionary genetic changes among these sexual populations are rapid and genomically extensive. This pattern may be due to segregating functional genetic variation that is abundantly maintained genome-wide by selection, variation that responds immediately to changes of selection regime.

Keywords: adaptation; experimental evolution; population genomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics*
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Databases, Nucleic Acid
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Frequency / genetics
  • Genetic Fitness / genetics
  • Genetic Variation / genetics
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Linkage Disequilibrium / genetics
  • Models, Animal
  • Models, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Selection, Genetic / genetics*

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.4nc28