Hybridization between Yellowstone cutthroat trout and rainbow trout alters the expression of muscle growth-related genes and their relationships with growth patterns

PLoS ONE
By: , and 

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Abstract

Hybridization creates novel gene combinations that may generate important evolutionary novelty, but may also reduce existing adaptation by interrupting inherent biological processes, such as genotype-environment interactions. Hybridization often causes substantial change in patterns of gene expression, which, in turn, may cause phenotypic change. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and cutthroat trout (Oclarkii) produce viable hybrids in the wild, and introgressive hybridization with introduced rainbow trout is a major conservation concern for native cutthroat trout. The two species differ in body shape, which is likely an evolutionary adaptation to their native environments, and their hybrids tend to show intermediate morphology. The characterization of gene expression patterns may provide insights on the genetic basis of hybrid and parental morphologies, as well as on the ecological performance of hybrids in the wild. Here, we evaluated the expression of eight growth-related genes (MSTN-1a, MSTN-1b, MyoD1a, MyoD1b, MRF-4, IGF-1, IGF-2, and CAST-L) and the relationship of these genes with growth traits (length, weight, and condition factor) in six line crosses: both parental species, both reciprocal F1 hybrids, and both first-generation backcrosses (F1 x rainbow trout and F1 x cutthroat trout). Four of these genes were differentially expressed among rainbow, cutthroat, and their hybrids. Transcript abundance was significantly correlated with growth traits across the parent species, but not across hybrids. Our findings suggest that rainbow and cutthroat trout exhibit differences in muscle growth regulation, that transcriptional networks may be modified by hybridization, and that hybridization disrupts intrinsic relationships between gene expression and growth patterns that may be functionally important for phenotypic adaptations.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hybridization between Yellowstone cutthroat trout and rainbow trout alters the expression of muscle growth-related genes and their relationships with growth patterns
Series title PLoS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0141373
Volume 10
Issue 10
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher PLoS ONE
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description e0141373; 16 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N