Genomic sweep and potential genetic rescue during limiting environmental conditions in an isolated wolf population

Jennifer R. Adams, Leah M. Vucetich, Philip W. Hedrick, Rolf O. Peterson, John A. Vucetich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Genetic rescue, in which the introduction of one or more unrelated individuals into an inbred population results in the reduction of detrimental genetic effects and an increase in one or more vital rates, is a potentially important management tool for mitigating adverse effects of inbreeding. We used molecular techniques to document the consequences of a male wolf (Canis lupus) that immigrated, on its own, across Lake Superior ice to the small, inbred wolf population in Isle Royale National Park. The immigrant's fitness so exceeded that of native wolves that within 2.5 generations, he was related to every individual in the population and his ancestry constituted 56 per cent of the population, resulting in a selective sweep of the total genome. In other words, all the male ancestry (50% of the total ancestry) descended from this immigrant, plus 6 per cent owing to the success of some of his inbred offspring. The immigration event occurred in an environment where space was limiting (i.e. packs occupied all available territories) and during a time when environmental conditions had deteriorated (i.e. wolves' prey declined). These conditions probably explain why the immigration event did not obviously improve the population's demography (e.g. increased population numbers or growth rate). Our results show that the beneficial effects of gene flow may be substantial and quickly manifest, short-lived under some circumstances, and how the demographic benefits of genetic rescue might be masked by environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3336-3344
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume278
Issue number1723
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 22 2011

Fingerprint

isolated population
wolves
ancestry
genomics
Genes
environmental conditions
immigration
environmental factors
Ice
Population
Lakes
ice lake
Emigration and Immigration
inbreeding
demography
gene flow
national park
fitness
genome
Demography

Keywords

  • Canis lupus
  • Fitness
  • Genetic rescue
  • Genomic sweep
  • Inbreeding
  • Isle Royale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Genomic sweep and potential genetic rescue during limiting environmental conditions in an isolated wolf population. / Adams, Jennifer R.; Vucetich, Leah M.; Hedrick, Philip W.; Peterson, Rolf O.; Vucetich, John A.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 278, No. 1723, 22.11.2011, p. 3336-3344.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adams, Jennifer R. ; Vucetich, Leah M. ; Hedrick, Philip W. ; Peterson, Rolf O. ; Vucetich, John A. / Genomic sweep and potential genetic rescue during limiting environmental conditions in an isolated wolf population. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2011 ; Vol. 278, No. 1723. pp. 3336-3344.
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