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Elevated temperature increases genome-wide selection on de novo mutations

Cite this dataset

Berger, David; Stångberg, Josefine; Baur, Julian; Walters, Richard (2021). Elevated temperature increases genome-wide selection on de novo mutations [Dataset]. Dryad.


Adaptation in new environments depends on the amount of genetic variation available for evolution, and the efficacy by which natural selection discriminates among this variation. However, whether some ecological factors reveal more genetic variation, or impose stronger selection pressures than others, is typically not known. Here, we apply enzyme kinetic theory to show that rising global temperatures are predicted to intensify natural selection throughout the genome by increasing the effects of DNA sequence variation on protein stability. We test this prediction by i) estimating temperature-dependent fitness effects of induced mutations in seed beetles adapted to ancestral or elevated temperature, ii) calculate 100 paired selection estimates on mutations in benign versus stressful environments from unicellular and multicellular organisms. Environmental stress per se did not increase mean selection on de novo mutation, suggesting that the cost of adaptation does not generally increase in new ecological settings to which the organism is maladapted. However, elevated temperature increased the mean strength of selection on genome-wide polymorphism, signified by increases in both mutation load and mutational variance in fitness. These results have important implications for genetic diversity gradients and the rate and repeatability of evolution under climate change.


Data collected in standard laboratory settings (Uppsala University, Sweden), as described in original publication

Usage notes

T = temperature adapted populations (evolved at 36 degrees Celsius)

C = Control populations (evolved at benign 29 degrees Celsius)


Svenska vetenskapsrådet (VR), Award: 2019-05024

Svenska vetenskapsrådet (VR), Award: 2019-05024