Genomic architecture of a genetically assimilated seasonal color pattern
van der Burg, Karin (2021), Genomic architecture of a genetically assimilated seasonal color pattern, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rjdfn2z89
Developmental plasticity allows genomes to encode multiple distinct phenotypes that can be differentially manifested in response to environmental cues. Alternative plastic phenotypes can be selected through a process called genetic assimilation; although the mechanisms are still poorly understood. We assimilated a seasonal wing color phenotype in a naturally plastic population of butterflies, and characterized three responsible genes. Combined with endocrine assays, and chromatin accessibility and conformation analyses, we found that the transition of wing coloration from an environmentally determined trait to a predominantly genetic trait occurred through selection for regulatory alleles of downstream wing patterning genes. This mode of genetic evolution is likely favored by selection because it allows tissue- and trait-specific tuning of reaction norms without affecting core cue detection or transduction mechanisms.
Data and code supporting article aaz3017: Genomic architecture of a genetically assimilated seasonal color pattern
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS 1557443