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Data from: Elevated heterozygosity in adults relative to juveniles provides evidence of viability selection on eagles and falcons

Citation

Doyle, Jacqueline et al. (2019), Data from: Elevated heterozygosity in adults relative to juveniles provides evidence of viability selection on eagles and falcons, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.j6p4nb3

Abstract

Viability selection yields adult populations that are more genetically variable than those of juveniles, producing a positive correlation between heterozygosity and survival. Viability selection could be the result of decreased heterozygosity across many loci in inbred individuals and a subsequent decrease in survivorship resulting from the expression of the deleterious alleles. Alternatively, locus-specific differences in genetic variability between adults and juveniles may be driven by forms of balancing selection, including heterozygote advantage, frequency-dependent selection or selection across temporal and spatial scales. We use a pooled sequencing approach to compare genome-wide and locus-specific genetic variability between 74 golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), 62 imperial eagles (Aquila heliaca) and 69 prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus) juveniles and adults. Although genome-wide genetic variability is comparable between juvenile and adult golden eagles and prairie falcons, imperial eagle adults are significantly more heterozygous than juveniles. This evidence of viability selection may stem from a relatively smaller imperial eagle effective population size and potentially greater genetic load. We additionally identify ~2000 SNPs across the three species with extreme differences in heterozygosity between juveniles and adults. Many of these markers are associated with genes implicated in immune function or olfaction. These loci represent potential targets for studies of how heterozygote advantage, frequency-dependent selection and selection over spatial and temporal scales influence survivorship in avian species. Overall, our genome-wide data extend previous studies that used allozyme or microsatellite markers and indicate that viability selection may be a more common evolutionary phenomenon than often appreciated.

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