[MARMAM] Killer whale population genomics paper deposited in biorxiv

Andy Foote footead at gmail.com
Fri Feb 26 01:05:59 PST 2016

Dear colleagues,
Our population genomics study on killer whales, in which analyse the
genomes of 50 individuals to reconstruct demographic history, population
structuring and adaptation to different habitats and diets is now deposited
in the biorxix and can be accessed with this link:

Andrew D. Foote, Nagarjun Vijay, María C. Ávila-Arcos, Robin W. Baird,
John W. Durban, Matteo Fumagalli, Richard A. Gibbs, M. Bradley Hanson,
Thorfinn S. Korneliussen, Michael D. Martin, Kelly. M. Robertson, Vitor C.
Sousa, Filipe. G. Vieira, Tomáš Vinař1, Paul Wade, Kim C. Worley,
Laurent Excoffier, Phillip. A. Morin, M. Thomas. P. Gilbert & Jochen. B.W.

Genome-culture coevolution promotes rapid divergence in the killer whale.

BioRxiv doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/040295

The interaction between ecology, culture and genome evolution remains
poorly understood. Analysing population genomic data from killer whale
ecotypes, which we estimate have globally radiated within less than 250,000
years, we show that genetic structuring including the segregation of
potentially functional alleles is associated with socially inherited
ecological niche. Reconstruction of ancestral demographic history revealed
bottlenecks during founder events, likely promoting ecological divergence
and genetic drift resulting in a wide range of genome-wide differentiation
between pairs of allopatric and sympatric ecotypes. Functional enrichment
analyses provided evidence for regional genomic divergence associated with
habitat, dietary preferences and postzygotic reproductive isolation. Our
findings are consistent with expansion of small founder groups into novel
niches by an initial plastic behavioural response, perpetuated by social
learning imposing an altered natural selection regime. The study
constitutes an important step toward an understanding of the complex
interaction between demographic history, culture, ecological adaptation and
evolution at the genomic level.


Dr. Andrew D. Foote
Computational and Molecular Population Genetics (CMPG) lab
Institute of Ecology and Evolution
University of Bern
Baltzerstrasse 6
Bern CH-3012
+41 31 631 4549
andrew.foote at iee.unibe.ch
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