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Type: Journal article
Title: The adaptive potential of subtropical rainbowfish in the face of climate change: heritability and heritable plasticity for the expression of candidate genes
Author: McCairns, R.S.
Smith, S.
Sasaki, M.
Bernatchez, L.
Beheregaray, L.B.
Citation: Evolutionary Applications: evolutionary approaches to environmental, biomedical and socio-economic issues, 2016; 9(4):531-545
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1752-4571
Statement of
R.J. Scott McCairns, Steve Smith, Minami Sasaki, Louis Bernatchez and Luciano B. Beheregaray
Abstract: Whilst adaptation and phenotypic plasticity might buffer species against habitat degradation associated with global climate change, few studies making such claims also possess the necessary and sufficient data to support them. Doing so requires demonstration of heritable variation in traits affecting fitness under new environmental conditions. We address this issue using an emerging aquatic system to study adaptation to climate change, the crimson-spotted rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi), a freshwater species from a region of eastern Australia projected to be affected by marked temperature increases. Captive born M. duboulayi of known pedigree were used to assess the long-term effects of contemporary and 2070-projected summer temperatures on the expression of genes previously identified in a climate change transcriptomics (RNA-Seq) experiment. Nearly all genes responded to increasing temperature. Significant additive genetic variance explained a moderate proportion of transcriptional variation for all genes. Most genes also showed broad-sense genetic variation in transcriptional plasticity. Additionally, molecular pathways of candidate genes co-occur with genes inferred to be under climate-mediated selection in wild M. duboulayi populations. Together, these results indicate the presence of existing variation in important physiological traits, and the potential for adaptive responses to a changing thermal environment.
Keywords: Adaptation; Australia; climate change; ecological genomics; evolutionary physiology; gene expression; teleost; thermal tolerance
Rights: © 2016 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1111/eva.12363
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Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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