A chromosomal inversion contributes to divergence in multiple traits between deer mouse ecotypes

Emily R. Hager, Olivia S. Harringmeyer, T. Brock Wooldridge, Shunn Theingi, Jacob T. Gable, Sade McFadden, Beverly Neugeboren, Kyle M. Turner, Jeffrey D. Jensen, Hopi E. Hoekstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

How locally adapted ecotypes are established and maintained within a species is a long-standing question in evolutionary biology. Using forest and prairie ecotypes of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), we characterized the genetic basis of variation in two defining traits—tail length and coat color—and discovered a 41-megabase chromosomal inversion linked to both. The inversion frequency is 90% in the dark, long-tailed forest ecotype; decreases across a habitat transition; and is absent from the light, short-tailed prairie ecotype. We implicate divergent selection in maintaining the inversion at frequencies observed in the wild, despite high levels of gene flow, and explore fitness benefits that arise from suppressed recombination within the inversion. We uncover a key role for a large, previously uncharacterized inversion in the evolution and maintenance of classic mammalian ecotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalScience
Volume377
Issue number6604
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 22 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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