Genome-culture coevolution promotes rapid divergence of killer whale ecotypes.

TitleGenome-culture coevolution promotes rapid divergence of killer whale ecotypes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsFoote, AD, Vijay, N, Ávila-Arcos, MC, Baird, RW, Durban, JW, Fumagalli, M, Gibbs, RA, M Hanson, B, Korneliussen, TS, Martin, MD, Robertson, KM, Sousa, VC, Vieira, FG, Vinar, T, Wade, P, Worley, KC, Excoffier, L, Morin, PA, M Gilbert, TP, Wolf, JBW
JournalNat Commun
Date Published2016 May 31
KeywordsAdaptation, Biological, Animals, Biopsy, Ecotype, Evolution, Molecular, Female, Gene-Environment Interaction, Genetic Drift, Genetic Speciation, Genetic Variation, Genetics, Population, Genome, Genomics, Male, Phylogeny, Reproductive Isolation, Selection, Genetic, Skin, Sympatry, Whale, Killer

Analysing population genomic data from killer whale ecotypes, which we estimate have globally radiated within less than 250,000 years, we show that genetic structuring including the segregation of potentially functional alleles is associated with socially inherited ecological niche. Reconstruction of ancestral demographic history revealed bottlenecks during founder events, likely promoting ecological divergence and genetic drift resulting in a wide range of genome-wide differentiation between pairs of allopatric and sympatric ecotypes. Functional enrichment analyses provided evidence for regional genomic divergence associated with habitat, dietary preferences and post-zygotic reproductive isolation. Our findings are consistent with expansion of small founder groups into novel niches by an initial plastic behavioural response, perpetuated by social learning imposing an altered natural selection regime. The study constitutes an important step towards an understanding of the complex interaction between demographic history, culture, ecological adaptation and evolution at the genomic level.

Alternate JournalNat Commun
PubMed ID27243207
PubMed Central IDPMC4895049

Similar Publications