Data from: Oxidative phosphorylation gene transcription in whitefish species pairs reveals patterns of parallel and non-parallel physiological divergence
Evans, Melissa L.; Bernatchez, Louis (2012), Data from: Oxidative phosphorylation gene transcription in whitefish species pairs reveals patterns of parallel and non-parallel physiological divergence, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.s4kc8
Across multiple lakes in North America, lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) have independently evolved “dwarf” and “normal” sympatric species pairs that exhibit pronounced phenotypic and genetic divergence. In particular, traits associated with metabolism have been shown to be highly differentiated between whitefish species. Here, we examine the transcription of genes associated with all five mitochondrial and nuclear genome-encoded oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes, the primary physiological mechanism responsible for the production of ATP, in whitefish species pairs from Cliff Lake and Webster Lake in Maine, USA. We observed OXPHOS gene transcription divergence between dwarf and normal whitefish in each of the two lakes, with the former exhibiting transcription upregulation for genes associated with each of the OXPHOS complexes. We also observed a significant influence of lake on transcription levels for some of the genes, indicating that inter-lake ecological or genetic differences are contributing to variation in OXPHOS gene transcription levels. Together, our results support the hypothesis that metabolic divergence is a critical adaptation involved in whitefish speciation, and implicate OXPHOS gene upregulation as a factor involved in meeting the enhanced energetic demands of dwarf whitefish. Further examination of the links between this critical physiological pathway and ecological and genetic variation will provide insight into the fine-scale evolutionary dynamics at work in nature.