Parallel adaptation of rabbit populations to myxoma virus

Joel M. Alves, Miguel Carneiro, Jade Y. Cheng, Ana Lemos de Matos, Masmudur Rahman, Liisa Loog, Paula F. Campos, Nathan Wales, Anders Eriksson, Andrea Manica, Tanja Strive, Stephen C. Graham, Sandra Afonso, Diana J. Bell, Laura Belmont, Jonathan P. Day, Susan J. Fuller, Stéphane Marchandeau, William J. Palmer, Guillaume QueneyAlison K. Surridge, Filipe G. Vieira, Douglas McFadden, Rasmus Nielsen, M. Thomas, P. Gilbert, Pedro J. Esteves, Nuno Ferrand, Francis M. Jiggins

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7 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the 1950s the myxoma virus was released into European rabbit populations in Australia and Europe, decimating populations and resulting in the rapid evolution of resistance. We investigated the genetic basis of resistance by comparing the exomes of rabbits collected before and after the pandemic. We found a strong pattern of parallel evolution, with selection on standing genetic variation favoring the same alleles in Australia, France, and the United Kingdom. Many of these changes occurred in immunity-related genes, supporting a polygenic basis of resistance. We experimentally validated the role of several genes in viral replication and showed that selection acting on an interferon protein has increased the protein’s antiviral effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1319-1326
Number of pages8
JournalScience
Volume363
Issue number6433
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 2019

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

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Cite this

Alves, J. M., Carneiro, M., Cheng, J. Y., de Matos, A. L., Rahman, M., Loog, L., Campos, P. F., Wales, N., Eriksson, A., Manica, A., Strive, T., Graham, S. C., Afonso, S., Bell, D. J., Belmont, L., Day, J. P., Fuller, S. J., Marchandeau, S., Palmer, W. J., ... Jiggins, F. M. (2019). Parallel adaptation of rabbit populations to myxoma virus. Science, 363(6433), 1319-1326. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aau7285