Seabra, S.G., Fragata, I., Antunes, M.A., Faria, G.S., Santos, M.A., Sousa, V.C., Simões, P. & Matos, M. (2018) Different genomic changes underlie adaptive evolution in populations of contrasting history.Molecular Biology and Evolution, 35(3), 549–563. DOI:10.1093/molbev/msx247 (IF2018 14,797; Q1 Evolutionary Biology)
Experimental evolution is a powerful tool to understand the adaptive potential of populations under environmental change. Here, we study the importance of the historical genetic background in the outcome of evolution at the genome-wide level. Using the natural clinal variation of Drosophila subobscura, we sampled populations from two contrasting latitudes (Adraga, Portugal and Groningen, Netherlands) and introduced them in a new common environment in the laboratory. We characterized the genome-wide temporal changes underlying the evolutionary dynamics of these populations, which had previously shown fast convergence at the phenotypic level, but not at chromosomal inversion frequencies. We found that initially differentiated populations did not converge either at genome-wide level or at candidate SNPs with signs of selection. In contrast, populations from Portugal showed convergence to the control population that derived from the same geographical origin and had been long-established in the laboratory. Candidate SNPs showed a variety of different allele frequency change patterns across generations, indicative of an underlying polygenic basis. We did not detect strong linkage around candidate SNPs, but rather a small but long-ranging effect. In conclusion, we found that history played a major role in genomic variation and evolution, with initially differentiated populations reaching the same adaptive outcome through different genetic routes.