Oral Presentation Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2016

Moving from genetics to genomics in understanding climate change adaptation in Drosophila: what else can we learn? (#170)

Ary Hoffmann 1 , John Oakeshott 2 , Rahul Rane 3 , Stephen Pearce 2 , Renee Catullo 2 , Pip Griffin 3 , Ronald Lee 3 , Carla Sgro 4 , Marina Telonis-Scott 4
  1. University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  2. CSIRO, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  3. The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  4. Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic

Genetic studies of Drosophila have featured prominently in research to understand the potential of organisms to adapt through evolution to recent climate change. The early phase of this work focussed on quantitative genetic approaches, which was followed by later work focussing on specific genetic polymorphisms and temporal studies. Much of this work took advantage of widespread Drosophila species distributed along climate gradients. One of the core messages is that insects, like plants, can be genetically differentiated along gradients, reflecting a balance of local adaptation and movement as well as historical factors that remain poorly defined. In several instances, the adaptive significance of differentiated traits has been obvious, and in other cases it has been cryptic. The clinal studies have also proved to be a good source of information on adaptive processes acting on specific polymorphisms, and in some cases links between this work and genetic mapping of traits from variation within populations has been possible. Recently, this work has moved into an  –omics phase, based on genomic assessments of clines and selection lines. Early results from this effort have highlighted the complexity of adaptation along clines but also the importance of chromosomal structural variation in climate adaptation. The results have also indicated where overlap in the genetic basis of adaptive shifts might be expected, based on comparisons of different selection lines and mapping efforts. New insights are now emerging from combining information from the intraspecific level to comparative genomics across species.  We illustrate the insights emerging from this work by considering early results from a comparative analysis