A migration-associated supergene reveals loss of biocomplexity in Atlantic cod

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  26 Jun 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 6, eaav2461
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav2461


Chromosome structural variation may underpin ecologically important intraspecific diversity by reducing recombination within supergenes containing linked, coadapted alleles. Here, we confirm that an ancient chromosomal rearrangement is strongly associated with migratory phenotype and individual genetic structure in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) across the Northwest Atlantic. We reconstruct trends in effective population size over the last century and reveal declines in effective population size matching onset of industrialized harvest (after 1950). We find different demographic trajectories between individuals homozygous for the chromosomal rearrangement relative to heterozygous or homozygous individuals for the noninverted haplotype, suggesting different selective histories across the past 150 years. These results illustrate how chromosomal structural diversity can mediate fine-scale genetic, phenotypic, and demographic variation in a highly connected marine species and show how overfishing may have led to loss of biocomplexity within Northern cod stock.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text