University of Cambridge > > Zoology Departmental Seminar Series > The genetic basis of a recent transition to live-bearing in marine snails

The genetic basis of a recent transition to live-bearing in marine snails

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Joana Meier.

Key innovations are fundamental to biological diversification, but their genetic basis is poorly understood. A recent transition from egg-laying to live-bearing in marine snails (Littorina) provides the opportunity to study the genetic architecture of an innovation that has evolved repeatedly across animals. Individuals do not cluster by reproductive mode in a genome-wide phylogeny, but local genealogical analysis revealed numerous small genomic regions where all live-bearers carry the same core haplotype. Candidate regions show evidence for live-bearer-specific positive selection and are enriched for genes that are differentially expressed between egg-laying and live-bearing reproductive systems. Ages of selective sweeps suggest live-bearer-specific alleles accumulated over ~200k generations. Our results suggest that novel functions evolve through the recruitment of many alleles, rather than in a single evolutionary step.

This talk is part of the Zoology Departmental Seminar Series series.

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