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Repeated genetic adaptation to altitude in two tropical butterflies.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Montejo-Kovacevich, Gabriela  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3716-9929
Bacquet, Caroline N  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1954-1806
Warren, Ian A 
Chan, Yingguang Frank  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6292-9681

Abstract

Repeated evolution can provide insight into the mechanisms that facilitate adaptation to novel or changing environments. Here we study adaptation to altitude in two tropical butterflies, Heliconius erato and H. melpomene, which have repeatedly and independently adapted to montane habitats on either side of the Andes. We sequenced 518 whole genomes from altitudinal transects and found many regions differentiated between highland (~ 1200 m) and lowland (~ 200 m) populations. We show repeated genetic differentiation across replicate populations within species, including allopatric comparisons. In contrast, there is little molecular parallelism between the two species. By sampling five close relatives, we find that a large proportion of divergent regions identified within species have arisen from standing variation and putative adaptive introgression from high-altitude specialist species. Taken together our study supports a role for both standing genetic variation and gene flow from independently adapted species in promoting parallel local adaptation to the environment.

Description

Keywords

Adaptation, Physiological, Altitude, Animals, Butterflies, Phenotype, Phylogeny

Journal Title

Nat Commun

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2041-1723
2041-1723

Volume Title

13

Publisher

Nature Research
Sponsorship
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/R010331/1)
European Research Council (339873)
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/N014936/1)
NERC (NE/L002507/1)
NERC grant and NERC studentship