Genome-wide survey of single-nucleotide polymorphisms indicates fine-scale population structure and signs of local selection in the threatened Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata
The advent of next-generation sequencing tools has made it possible to conduct fine-scale surveys of population differentiation and genome-wide scans for signatures of selection in non-model organisms. Such surveys are of particular importance in sharply declining coral species, since knowledge of population boundaries and signs of local adaptation can inform restoration and conservation efforts. Here, genome-wide surveys of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the threatened Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, reveal fine-scale population structure and place the major barrier to gene flow that separates the eastern and western Caribbean population between the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. The exact location of this break had been subject to discussion because two previous studies based on microsatellite data had come to differing conclusions. We investigate this contradiction here by analyzing an extended set of 12 microsatellite markers including the five previously employed and discovered that one of the original microsatellite loci is apparently under selection. Exclusion of this locus reconciles the results from the SNP and the microsatellite datasets. Scans for outlier loci in the SNP data detected 12 candidate loci under positive selection. Together, these results suggest that restoration of populations should not only rely on local sources to avoid potential outbreeding depression but also utilize existing functional variation among populations in ex situ crossing experiments to improve stress resistance of this species.
|Work Title||Genome-wide survey of single-nucleotide polymorphisms indicates fine-scale population structure and signs of local selection in the threatened Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata|
|License||All rights reserved|
|Deposited||June 15, 2017|
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