Measuring viability selection from prospective cohort mortality studies: A case study in maritime pine. uri icon

abstract

  • By changing the genetic background available for selection at subsequent life stages, stage-specific selection can define adaptive potential across the life cycle. We propose and evaluate here a neutrality test and a Bayesian method to infer stage-specific viability selection coefficients using sequential random genotypic samples drawn from a longitudinal cohort mortality study, within a generation. The approach is suitable for investigating selective mortality in large natural or experimental cohorts of any organism in which individual tagging and tracking are unfeasible. Numerical simulation results indicate that the method can discriminate loci under strong viability selection, and provided samples are large, yield accurate estimates of the corresponding selection coefficients. Genotypic frequency changes are largely driven by sampling noise under weak selection, however, compromising inference in that case. We apply the proposed methods to analyze viability selection operating at early recruitment stages in a natural maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) population. We measured temporal genotypic frequency changes at 384 candidate-gene SNP loci among seedlings sampled from the time of emergence in autumn until the summer of the following year, a period with high elimination rates. We detected five loci undergoing allele frequency changes larger than expected from stochastic mortality and sampling, with putative functions that could influence survival at early seedling stages. Our results illustrate how new statistical and sampling schemes can be used to conduct genomic scans of contemporary selection on specific life stages.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019