Beta-thymosin gene polymorphism associated with freshwater invasiveness of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)

Journal of Experimental Zoology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Predicting the success of a species’ colonization into a novel environment is routinely considered to be predicated on niche-space similarity and vacancy, as well as propagule pressure. The role genomic variation plays in colonization success (and the interaction with environment) may be suggested, but has not rigorously been documented. To test an hypothesis that previously observed ecotype-specific polymorphisms between anadromous and landlocked alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) populations are an adaptive response to osmoregulatory challenges rather than a result of allele sampling at founding, we examined multiple anadromous and landlocked (colonized) populations for their allelic profiles at a conserved region (3’-UTR end) of a β-thymosin gene whose protein product plays a central role in the organization of cytoskeleton. The putatively ancestral β-thymosin allele was prevalent in anadromous populations, whereas a newly derived allele was overrepresented in landlocked populations; a third allele was exclusive to the anadromous populations. We also conducted a complementary set of salinity exposure experiments to test osmoregulatory performance of the alewife ecotypes in contrasting saline environments. The pattern of variation and results from these challenges indicate a strong association of β-thymosin with colonization success and a transition for species with an anadromous life-history to one with only a freshwater component.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Beta-thymosin gene polymorphism associated with freshwater invasiveness of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)
Series title Journal of Experimental Zoology
DOI 10.1002/jez.1854
Volume 321
Issue 4
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Leetown Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 233
Last page 240
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N