Adaptive introgression reveals the genetic basis of a sexually selected syndrome in wall lizards.

Feiner N, Yang W, Bunikis I, While GM, Uller T

Sci Adv 10 (14) eadk9315 [2024-04-05; online 2024-04-03]

The joint expression of particular colors, morphologies, and behaviors is a common feature of adaptation, but the genetic basis for such "phenotypic syndromes" remains poorly understood. Here, we identified a complex genetic architecture associated with a sexually selected syndrome in common wall lizards, by capitalizing on the adaptive introgression of coloration and morphology into a distantly related lineage. Consistent with the hypothesis that the evolution of phenotypic syndromes in vertebrates is facilitated by developmental linkage through neural crest cells, most of the genes associated with the syndrome are involved in neural crest cell regulation. A major locus was a ~400-kb region, characterized by standing structural genetic variation and previously implied in the evolutionary innovation of coloration and beak size in birds. We conclude that features of the developmental and genetic architecture contribute to maintaining trait integration, facilitating the extensive and rapid introgressive spread of suites of sexually selected characters.

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NGI Stockholm (Genomics Applications) [Service]

NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

National Genomics Infrastructure [Service]

PubMed 38569035

DOI 10.1126/sciadv.adk9315

Crossref 10.1126/sciadv.adk9315

pmc: PMC10990284

Publications 9.5.0