The Linked Selection Signature of Rapid Adaptation in Temporal Genomic Data

Genetics. 2019 Nov;213(3):1007-1045. doi: 10.1534/genetics.119.302581. Epub 2019 Sep 26.


The majority of empirical population genetic studies have tried to understand the evolutionary processes that have shaped genetic variation in a single sample taken from a present-day population. However, genomic data collected over tens of generations in both natural and laboratory populations are increasingly used to find selected loci underpinning adaptation over these short timescales. Although these studies have been quite successful in detecting selection on large-effect loci, the fitness differences between individuals are often polygenic, such that selection leads to allele frequency changes that are difficult to distinguish from genetic drift. However, one promising signal comes from polygenic selection's effect on neutral sites that become stochastically associated with the genetic backgrounds that lead to fitness differences between individuals. Previous theoretical work has established that the random associations between a neutral allele and heritable fitness backgrounds act to reduce the effective population size experienced by this neutral allele. These associations perturb neutral allele frequency trajectories, creating autocovariance in the allele frequency changes across generations. Here, we show how temporal genomic data allow us to measure the temporal autocovariance in allele frequency changes and characterize the genome-wide impact of polygenic selection. We develop expressions for these temporal autocovariances, showing that their magnitude is determined by the level of additive genetic variation, recombination, and linkage disequilibria in a region. Furthermore, by using analytic expressions for the temporal variances and autocovariances in allele frequency, we demonstrate that one can estimate the additive genetic variation for fitness and the drift-effective population size from temporal genomic data. We also show how the proportion of total variation in allele frequency change due to linked selection can be estimated from temporal data. Overall, we demonstrate that temporal genomic data offer opportunities to identify the role of linked selection on genome-wide diversity over short timescales, and can help bridge population genetic and quantitative genetic studies of adaptation.

Keywords: linked selection; polygenic selection; rapid adaptation; temporal genomic data; MPP.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Multifactorial Inheritance*
  • Selection, Genetic*

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.7709930