Skip to main content

The architecture of adaptation to novel environments

Final Report Summary - ARCHADAPT (The architecture of adaptation to novel environments)

ArchAdapt used experimental evolution to understand the genomic architecture of adaptation to a novel temperature environment. In total three different founder populations were used to seed replicate populations, which evolved in the same novel temperature regime. We showed that replicate populations evolved to similar new phenotypes, independent of the founder population. These phenotypes included high levels phenotypes, such as respiration, lipid content and fecundity, but also gene expression. On the genetic level, however, replicates from three different founder populations evolved very differently: the replicates from one founder population form Portugal showed a highly parallel selection response, with only a moderate number of loci responding to selection. The replicates from the founder population originating from Florida behaved completely different-about 100 genomic regions were selected, but which of these loci contributed to adaptation in a given replicate seemed to almost random-suggesting a high genetic redundancy. The reason for this highly heterogeneous genetic response between the different founder populations is not yet understood and will be studied in follow up projects.
The project did not only provide exciting results about the genetic architecture, but also contributed substantially to method development on the experimental and analytical part of studies combining experimental evolution and Pool-Seq.