Parallel evolution can be expected among closely related taxa exposed to similar selective pressures. However, parallelism is typically stronger at the phenotypic level, while genetic solutions to achieve these phenotypic similarities may differ. For polygenic traits, the availability of standing genetic variation (i.e., heterozygosity) may influence such genetic nonparallelism. Here, we examine the extent to which high-elevation adaptation is parallel—and whether the level of parallelism is affected by heterozygosity—by analyzing genomes of 19 Paridae species distributed across East Asia with a dramatic east–west elevation gradient. We find that western highlands endemic parids have consistently lower levels of heterozygosity—likely the result of late-Pleistocene demographic contraction—than do parids found exclusively in eastern lowlands, which remained unglaciated during the late Pleistocene. Three widespread species (east to west) have high levels of heterozygosity similar to that observed in eastern species, although their western populations are less variable than eastern ones. Comparing genomic responses to extreme environments of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, we find that the most differentiated genomic regions between each high-elevation taxon and its low-elevation relative are significantly enriched for genes potentially related to the oxygen transport cascade and/or thermogenesis. Despite no parallelism at particular genes, high similarity in gene function is found among comparisons. Furthermore, parallelism is not higher in more heterozygous widespread parids than in highland endemics. Thus, in East Asian parids, parallel functional response to extreme elevation appears to rely on different genes, with differences in heterozygosity having no effect on the degree of genetic parallelism.
|期刊||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|出版狀態||已發佈 - 2021 12月 14|
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