What kind of genetic variation contributes the most to adaptation is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. By resequencing genomes of 80 individuals, we inferred the origin of genomic variants associated with a complex adaptive syndrome involving multiple quantitative traits, namely, adaptation between high and low altitudes, in the vinous-throated parrotbill (Sinosuthora webbiana) in Taiwan. By comparing these variants with those in the Asian mainland population, we revealed standing variation in 24 noncoding genomic regions to be the predominant genetic source of adaptation. Parrotbills at both high and low altitudes exhibited signatures of recent selection, suggesting that not only the front but also the trailing edges of postglacial expanding populations could be subjected to environmental stresses. This study verifies and quantifies the importance of standing variation in adaptation in a cohort of genes, illustrating that the evolutionary potential of a population depends significantly on its preexisting genetic diversity. These findings provide important context for understanding adaptation and conservation of species in the Anthropocene.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2019 Feb 5|
- Population genomics
- Postglacial expansion
- Standing variation
ASJC Scopus subject areas