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The role of gene expression in ecological speciation.

Pavey SA, Collin H, Nosil P, Rogers SM - Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. (2010)

Bottom Line: Gene expression may be associated with ecologically important phenotypes not evident from morphology and play a role during colonization of new environments.We also find clear examples of gene expression having effects on phenotypic traits and adaptive genetic divergence, but links to the evolution of reproductive isolation itself remain indirect.The study of gene expression has promise for increasing our understanding ecological speciation, particularly when integrative approaches are applied.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

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The effects of gene expression-mediated phenotypic plasticity (GMPP: y-axis) on colonization of new environments and subsequent population persistence. Genotype A has a lesser breadth of GMPP compared with genotype B. Both genotypes have high persistence in the source habitat, but genotype A has no potential to persist in a colonized habitat. Genotype B's GMPP allows persistence in the colonized habitat, allowing time for adaptive genetic divergence.
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fig02: The effects of gene expression-mediated phenotypic plasticity (GMPP: y-axis) on colonization of new environments and subsequent population persistence. Genotype A has a lesser breadth of GMPP compared with genotype B. Both genotypes have high persistence in the source habitat, but genotype A has no potential to persist in a colonized habitat. Genotype B's GMPP allows persistence in the colonized habitat, allowing time for adaptive genetic divergence.

Mentions: The first manner in which gene expression might affect speciation is via promoting population persistence. As exemplified by Baldwin's quotation above, once a population colonizes a new environment, it must persist if it is to speciate. Population establishment and persistence in a new environment may be facilitated by phenotypic plasticity (Fig. 2).86–90 Modulation of behavioral, morphological, or physiological traits via phenotypic plasticity could therefore occur before any adaptive genetic evolution occurs.23 Gene expression-mediated phenotypic plasticity may be described as reaction norms in gene expression with the molecular phenotype of gene expression-facilitating population persistence following colonization.30 Direct tests of this idea are lacking, but two lines of indirect evidence exist: (1) studies of plasticity in traits (morphology and behavior mostly) related to fitness and population persistence and (2) studies of gene expression responses during ecological shifts, particularly those resulting in exposure to ecological stress.


The role of gene expression in ecological speciation.

Pavey SA, Collin H, Nosil P, Rogers SM - Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. (2010)

The effects of gene expression-mediated phenotypic plasticity (GMPP: y-axis) on colonization of new environments and subsequent population persistence. Genotype A has a lesser breadth of GMPP compared with genotype B. Both genotypes have high persistence in the source habitat, but genotype A has no potential to persist in a colonized habitat. Genotype B's GMPP allows persistence in the colonized habitat, allowing time for adaptive genetic divergence.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3066407&req=5

fig02: The effects of gene expression-mediated phenotypic plasticity (GMPP: y-axis) on colonization of new environments and subsequent population persistence. Genotype A has a lesser breadth of GMPP compared with genotype B. Both genotypes have high persistence in the source habitat, but genotype A has no potential to persist in a colonized habitat. Genotype B's GMPP allows persistence in the colonized habitat, allowing time for adaptive genetic divergence.
Mentions: The first manner in which gene expression might affect speciation is via promoting population persistence. As exemplified by Baldwin's quotation above, once a population colonizes a new environment, it must persist if it is to speciate. Population establishment and persistence in a new environment may be facilitated by phenotypic plasticity (Fig. 2).86–90 Modulation of behavioral, morphological, or physiological traits via phenotypic plasticity could therefore occur before any adaptive genetic evolution occurs.23 Gene expression-mediated phenotypic plasticity may be described as reaction norms in gene expression with the molecular phenotype of gene expression-facilitating population persistence following colonization.30 Direct tests of this idea are lacking, but two lines of indirect evidence exist: (1) studies of plasticity in traits (morphology and behavior mostly) related to fitness and population persistence and (2) studies of gene expression responses during ecological shifts, particularly those resulting in exposure to ecological stress.

Bottom Line: Gene expression may be associated with ecologically important phenotypes not evident from morphology and play a role during colonization of new environments.We also find clear examples of gene expression having effects on phenotypic traits and adaptive genetic divergence, but links to the evolution of reproductive isolation itself remain indirect.The study of gene expression has promise for increasing our understanding ecological speciation, particularly when integrative approaches are applied.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus