Thirty-four Kilometers and Fifteen Years : Rapid Adaptation at a Novel Chromosomal Inversion in Recently Introduced Deschutes River Three-spined Stickleback Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5999n585k

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  • Rapid adaptation and evolution based on standing genetic variation and novel mutations is likely to be one of the primary ways that species survive the widespread anthropogenic environmental changes expected of the next century. Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) are known to be capable of extremely quick, dramatic adaptation in response to similarly dramatic environmental changes, such as a transition from a salt to freshwater environment. In this study, we present evidence which shows selection has caused large increases in the frequency (1,784-6,482% relative increase) of a novel chromosomal inversion on LG IX in a recently introduced population of stickleback in the Deschutes River, Oregon, over approximately 35 years. This evidence suggests that subtle, watershed scale differences in environmental conditions can drive rapid evolution in stickleback, and possibly other fish species, over very short periods of time, which may aid those species both in surviving disturbances and in invading new ecosystems.
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