Data from: Phenotype-environment association of the oxygen transport system in trimorphic European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) populations
Evans, Melissa L. et al. (2014), Data from: Phenotype-environment association of the oxygen transport system in trimorphic European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) populations, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.351h3
Replicated adaptive radiation events, typified by phenotypic divergence across resource axes, provide important insight into the eco-evolutionary dynamics that lead to the formation of new species. Here, we show that in trimorphic adaptive radiations of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), divergence of the oxygen transport system has occurred across the pelagic/littoral (shallow)—profundal (deep) resource axis, and at multiple biological scales. Profundal whitefish exhibited significantly larger red blood cells (RBCs), a greater proportion of cathodic hemoglobin protein components, and higher hemoglobin transcript abundance in kidney compared to littoral and pelagic morphs. Hemoglobin transcript abundance in brain and gill, but not kidney, and anodic hemoglobin protein component diversity in blood were also linked to variation at an intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). As the whitefish morphs differ in population genetic structure at this SNP, hemoglobin transcript and protein divergence between profundal and pelagic/littoral morphs is likely being driven by genetic divergence. Our findings, along with our previous work on lake whitefish, highlight the importance of the oxygen transport system to the postglacial colonization of novel lacustrine environments by whitefish throughout the northern hemisphere.