Genetics and evidence for balancing selection of a sex-linked colour polymorphism in a songbird

Kang Wook Kim, Benjamin C. Jackson, Hanyuan Zhang, David P. L. Toews, Scott A. Taylor, Emma I. Greig, Irby J. Lovette, Mengning M. Liu, Angus Davison, Simon C. Griffith, Kai Zeng, Terry Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Colour polymorphisms play a key role in sexual selection and speciation, yet the mechanisms that generate and maintain them are not fully understood. Here, we use genomic and transcriptomic tools to identify the precise genetic architecture and evolutionary history of a sex-linked colour polymorphism in the Gouldian finch Erythrura gouldiae that is also accompanied by remarkable differences in behaviour and physiology. We find that differences in colour are associated with an ~72-kbp region of the Z chromosome in a putative regulatory region for follistatin, an antagonist of the TGF-β superfamily genes. The region is highly differentiated between morphs, unlike the rest of the genome, yet we find no evidence that an inversion is involved in maintaining the distinct haplotypes. Coalescent simulations confirm that there is elevated nucleotide diversity and an excess of intermediate frequency alleles at this locus. We conclude that this pleiotropic colour polymorphism is most probably maintained by balancing selection.

LanguageEnglish
Article number1852
Pages1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2019

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Sex Preselection
Songbirds
polymorphism
Polymorphism
Color
color
Genes
Follistatin
Finches
physiology
intermediate frequencies
genome
Nucleic Acid Regulatory Sequences
chromosomes
Physiology
nucleotides
loci
Chromosomes
Gene Frequency
Transforming Growth Factor beta

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Cite this

Kim, K. W., Jackson, B. C., Zhang, H., Toews, D. P. L., Taylor, S. A., Greig, E. I., ... Burke, T. (2019). Genetics and evidence for balancing selection of a sex-linked colour polymorphism in a songbird. Nature Communications, 10(1), 1-11. [1852]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09806-6
Kim, Kang Wook ; Jackson, Benjamin C. ; Zhang, Hanyuan ; Toews, David P. L. ; Taylor, Scott A. ; Greig, Emma I. ; Lovette, Irby J. ; Liu, Mengning M. ; Davison, Angus ; Griffith, Simon C. ; Zeng, Kai ; Burke, Terry. / Genetics and evidence for balancing selection of a sex-linked colour polymorphism in a songbird. In: Nature Communications. 2019 ; Vol. 10, No. 1. pp. 1-11.
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Kim, KW, Jackson, BC, Zhang, H, Toews, DPL, Taylor, SA, Greig, EI, Lovette, IJ, Liu, MM, Davison, A, Griffith, SC, Zeng, K & Burke, T 2019, 'Genetics and evidence for balancing selection of a sex-linked colour polymorphism in a songbird', Nature Communications, vol. 10, no. 1, 1852, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09806-6

Genetics and evidence for balancing selection of a sex-linked colour polymorphism in a songbird. / Kim, Kang Wook; Jackson, Benjamin C.; Zhang, Hanyuan; Toews, David P. L.; Taylor, Scott A.; Greig, Emma I.; Lovette, Irby J.; Liu, Mengning M.; Davison, Angus; Griffith, Simon C.; Zeng, Kai; Burke, Terry.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1852, 23.04.2019, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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