Marine Biology and Biotechnology Center

Iceland

Marine Biology and Biotechnology Center

Iceland

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Pujolar J.M.,University of Aarhus | Jacobsen M.W.,University of Aarhus | Als T.D.,Technical University of Denmark | Als T.D.,University of Aarhus | And 10 more authors.
Heredity | Year: 2014

The two North Atlantic eel species, the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) and the American eel (Anguilla rostrata), spawn in partial sympatry in the Sargasso Sea, providing ample opportunity to interbreed. In this study, we used a RAD (Restriction site Associated DNA) sequencing approach to identify species-specific diagnostic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and design a low-density array that combined with screening of a diagnostic mitochondrial DNA marker. Eels from Iceland (N=159) and from the neighboring Faroe Islands (N=29) were genotyped, along with 94 larvae (49 European and 45 American eel) collected in the Sargasso Sea. Our SNP survey showed that the majority of Icelandic eels are pure European eels but there is also an important contribution of individuals of admixed ancestry (10.7%). Although most of the hybrids were identified as F1 hybrids from European eel female × American eel male crosses, backcrosses were also detected, including a first-generation backcross (F1 hybrid × pure European eel) and three individuals identified as second-generation backcrosses originating from American eel × F1 hybrid backcrosses interbreeding with pure European eels. In comparison, no hybrids were observed in the Faroe Islands, the closest bodies of land to Iceland. It is possible that hybrids show an intermediate migratory behaviour between the two parental species that ultimately brings hybrid larvae to the shores of Iceland, situated roughly halfway between the Sargasso Sea and Europe. Only two hybrids were observed among Sargasso Sea larvae, both backcrosses, but no F1 hybrids, that points to temporal variation in the occurrence of hybridization. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Ulrik M.G.,University of Aarhus | Pujolar J.M.,University of Aarhus | Ferchaud A.-L.,University of Aarhus | Jacobsen M.W.,University of Aarhus | And 8 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2014

Background: The two North Atlantic eel species, the European and the American eel, represent an ideal system in which to study parallel selection patterns due to their sister species status and the presence of ongoing gene flow. A panel of 80 coding-gene SNPs previously analyzed in American eel was used to genotype European eel individuals (glass eels) from 8 sampling locations across the species distribution. We tested for single-generation signatures of spatially varying selection in European eel by searching for elevated genetic differentiation using FST-based outlier tests and by testing for significant associations between allele frequencies and environmental variables. Results: We found signatures of possible selection at a total of 11 coding-gene SNPs. Candidate genes for local selection constituted mainly genes with a major role in metabolism as well as defense genes. Contrary to what has been found for American eel, only 2 SNPs in our study correlated with differences in temperature, which suggests that other explanatory variables may play a role. None of the genes found to be associated with explanatory variables in European eel showed any correlations with environmental factors in the previous study in American eel. Conclusions: The different signatures of selection between species could be due to distinct selective pressures associated with the much longer larval migration for European eel relative to American eel. The lack of parallel selection in North Atlantic eels could also be due to most phenotypic traits being polygenic, thus reducing the likelihood of selection acting on the same genes in both species. © 2014 Ulrik et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Pujolar J.M.,University of Aarhus | Jacobsen M.W.,University of Aarhus | Als T.D.,Technical University of Denmark | Als T.D.,University of Aarhus | And 9 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2014

Next-generation sequencing and the collection of genome-wide data allow identifying adaptive variation and footprints of directional selection. Using a large SNP data set from 259 RAD-sequenced European eel individuals (glass eels) from eight locations between 34 and 64oN, we examined the patterns of genome-wide genetic diversity across locations. We tested for local selection by searching for increased population differentiation using FST-based outlier tests and by testing for significant associations between allele frequencies and environmental variables. The overall low genetic differentiation found (FST = 0.0007) indicates that most of the genome is homogenized by gene flow, providing further evidence for genomic panmixia in the European eel. The lack of genetic substructuring was consistent at both nuclear and mitochondrial SNPs. Using an extensive number of diagnostic SNPs, results showed a low occurrence of hybrids between European and American eel, mainly limited to Iceland (5.9%), although individuals with signatures of introgression several generations back in time were found in mainland Europe. Despite panmixia, a small set of SNPs showed high genetic differentiation consistent with single-generation signatures of spatially varying selection acting on glass eels. After screening 50 354 SNPs, a total of 754 potentially locally selected SNPs were identified. Candidate genes for local selection constituted a wide array of functions, including calcium signalling, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction and circadian rhythm. Remarkably, one of the candidate genes identified is PERIOD, possibly related to differences in local photoperiod associated with the >30 difference in latitude between locations. Genes under selection were spread across the genome, and there were no large regions of increased differentiation as expected when selection occurs within just a single generation due to panmixia. This supports the conclusion that most of the genome is homogenized by gene flow that removes any effects of diversifying selection from each new generation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Pujolar J.M.,University of Aarhus | Jacobsen M.W.,University of Aarhus | Bekkevold D.,Technical University of Denmark | Lobon-Cervia J.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | And 3 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2015

Background: Species showing complex life cycles provide excellent opportunities to study the genetic associations between life cycle stages, as selective pressures may differ before and after metamorphosis. The European eel presents a complex life cycle with two metamorphoses, a first metamorphosis from larvae into glass eels (juvenile stage) and a second metamorphosis into silver eels (adult stage). We tested the hypothesis that different genes and gene pathways will be under selection at different life stages when comparing the genetic associations between glass eels and silver eels. Results: We used two sets of markers to test for selection: first, we genotyped individuals using a panel of 80 coding-gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) developed in American eel; second, we investigated selection at the genome level using a total of 153,423 RAD-sequencing generated SNPs widely distributed across the genome. Using the RAD approach, outlier tests identified a total of 2413 (1.57 %) potentially selected SNPs. Functional annotation analysis identified signal transduction pathways as the most over-represented group of genes, including MAPK/Erk signalling, calcium signalling and GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) signalling. Many of the over-represented pathways were related to growth, while others could result from the different conditions that eels inhabit during their life cycle. Conclusions: The observation of different genes and gene pathways under selection when comparing glass eels vs. silver eels supports the adaptive decoupling hypothesis for the benefits of metamorphosis. Partitioning the life cycle into discrete morphological phases may be overall beneficial since it allows the different life stages to respond independently to their unique selection pressures. This might translate into a more effective use of food and niche resources and/or performance of phase-specific tasks (e.g. feeding in the case of glass eels, migrating and reproducing in the case of silver eels). © 2015 Pujolar et al.


PubMed | Marine Biology and Biotechnology Center, University of Aarhus, Laval University, CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences and Technical University of Denmark
Type: | Journal: BMC genomics | Year: 2015

Species showing complex life cycles provide excellent opportunities to study the genetic associations between life cycle stages, as selective pressures may differ before and after metamorphosis. The European eel presents a complex life cycle with two metamorphoses, a first metamorphosis from larvae into glass eels (juvenile stage) and a second metamorphosis into silver eels (adult stage). We tested the hypothesis that different genes and gene pathways will be under selection at different life stages when comparing the genetic associations between glass eels and silver eels.We used two sets of markers to test for selection: first, we genotyped individuals using a panel of 80 coding-gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) developed in American eel; second, we investigated selection at the genome level using a total of 153,423 RAD-sequencing generated SNPs widely distributed across the genome. Using the RAD approach, outlier tests identified a total of 2413 (1.57%) potentially selected SNPs. Functional annotation analysis identified signal transduction pathways as the most over-represented group of genes, including MAPK/Erk signalling, calcium signalling and GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) signalling. Many of the over-represented pathways were related to growth, while others could result from the different conditions that eels inhabit during their life cycle.The observation of different genes and gene pathways under selection when comparing glass eels vs. silver eels supports the adaptive decoupling hypothesis for the benefits of metamorphosis. Partitioning the life cycle into discrete morphological phases may be overall beneficial since it allows the different life stages to respond independently to their unique selection pressures. This might translate into a more effective use of food and niche resources and/or performance of phase-specific tasks (e.g. feeding in the case of glass eels, migrating and reproducing in the case of silver eels).

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