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Data from: Reef-specific patterns of gene expression plasticity in eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica)


Eierman, Laura E.; Hare, Matthew P. (2015), Data from: Reef-specific patterns of gene expression plasticity in eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica), Dryad, Dataset,


Understanding the interaction between phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary processes is important for predicting a species’ response to changing environment. Strong recurrent selection each generation may be an important process in highly fecund species with broad dispersal and extensive early mortality. We tested whether selection was associated with spatial divergence in gene expression plasticity for osmoregulation in the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica). We collected adult oysters from high and low salinity reefs within a single estuary and after 9 weeks of acclimation at 10 and 30 salinity, measured gene expression in 24 oysters using next-generation RNA sequencing technology. The oysters had significantly different expression (DE) in response to salinity treatments for 7936 (18.9%) transcripts overall, with planned contrasts showing 8× more DE in oysters from the high-salinity reef and 15× more DE between reefs when tested at 10 salinity. The reef-by-treatment interaction was also genomically pervasive (5858 DE transcripts, 13.9%). Inter-reef F ST for transcript SNPs averaged 0.0025 with the top 1% between 0.29 and 0.73. Transcripts containing “outlier” SNPs were significantly enriched for osmoregulatory genes and showed patterns of variation consistent with selection on the low-salinity reef. Both phenotypic plasticity and recurrent selection seem to be important factors determining the realized niche of oysters within estuaries.

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Delaware Bay