Evaluating the adaptive potential of the European eel: is the immunogenetic status recovering?.

Baltazar-Soares, Miguel, Bracamonte, Seraina E., Bayer, Till , Chain, Frederic J.J., Hanel, Reinhold, Harrod, Chris and Eizaguirre, Christophe (2016) Evaluating the adaptive potential of the European eel: is the immunogenetic status recovering?. Open Access PeerJ, 4 . e1868. DOI 10.7717/peerj.1868.

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Supplementary data:

Abstract

The recent increased integration of evolutionary theory into conservation programs has greatly improved our ability to protect endangered species. A common application of such theory links population dynamics and indices of genetic diversity, usually estimated from neutrally evolving markers. However, some studies have suggested that highly polymorphic adaptive genes, such as the immune genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), might be more sensitive to fluctuations in population dynamics. As such, the combination of neutrally- and adaptively-evolving genes may be informative in populations where reductions in abundance have been documented. The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) underwent a drastic and well-reported decline in abundance in the late 20th century and still displays low recruitment. Here we compared genetic diversity indices estimated from neutral (mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites) and adaptive markers (MHC) between two distinct generations of European eels. Our results revealed a clear discrepancy between signatures obtained for each class of markers. Although mtDNA and microsatellites showed no changes in diversity between the older and the younger generations, MHC diversity revealed a contemporary drop followed by a recent increase. Our results suggest ongoing gain of MHC genetic diversity resulting from the interplay between drift and selection and ultimately increasing the adaptive potential of the species.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000374161600003 - PubMed ID: 27077000
Keywords: Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Studies, Genetics, Marine Biology, Molecular Biology; Major Histocompatibility Complex, Temporal analyses, Adaptive potential, Population dynamics, European eel
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.7717/peerj.1868
ISSN: 2167-8359
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2016 07:09
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:05
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/32056

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