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Genome scan approaches to detect footprints of directional selection in the genomes of wild animal and plant populations have become popular tools to study local adaptation and speciation at the molecular level. Most studies thus far have used random molecular markers and found footprints of directional selection at, on average, 5% (range: 1-15%) of the(More)
Examples of parallel evolution of phenotypic traits have been repeatedly demonstrated in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) across their global distribution. Using these as a model, we performed a targeted genome scan--focusing on physiologically important genes potentially related to freshwater adaptation--to identify genetic signatures of(More)
Recombination suppression leads to the structural and functional differentiation of sex chromosomes and is thus a crucial step in the process of sex chromosome evolution. Despite extensive theoretical work, the exact processes and mechanisms of recombination suppression and differentiation are not well understood. In threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus(More)
Characterizing the molecular network underlying temperature-dependent (TSD) and genotypic (GSD) sex determination, including patterns across closely related taxa, is crucial to elucidate the still enigmatic evolution of sex determining mechanisms in vertebrates. Here we examined the expression of an important gene for sexual differentiation common to both(More)
Although the role of aromatase in many estrogen-dependent reproductive and metabolic functions is well documented in vertebrates, its involvement in the ovarian development of species exhibiting temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is incompletely understood. This is partly due to the conflicting temporal and spatial pattern of aromatase expression(More)
The genetic structure of contemporary populations can be shaped by both their history and current ecological conditions. We assessed the relative importance of postglacial colonization history and habitat type in the patterns and degree of genetic diversity and differentiation in northern European nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius), using(More)
Understanding the selective forces promoting adaptive population divergence is a central issue in evolutionary biology. The role of environmental salinity in driving adaptation and evolution in aquatic organisms is still poorly understood. We investigated the relative impacts of habitat type (cf. saltwater vs. freshwater) and geographic area in shaping(More)
BACKGROUND Studies of closely related species with different sex chromosome systems can provide insights into the processes of sex chromosome differentiation and evolution. To investigate the potential utility of molecular markers in studying sex chromosome differentiation at early stages of their divergence, we examined the levels and patterns of genetic(More)
Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping studies of Pacific three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) have uncovered several genomic regions controlling variability in different morphological traits, but QTL studies of Atlantic sticklebacks are lacking. We mapped QTL for 40 morphological traits, including body size, body shape, and body armor, in a(More)
BACKGROUND Identification of genes involved in adaptation and speciation by targeting specific genes of interest has become a plausible strategy also for non-model organisms. We investigated the potential utility of available sequenced fish genomes to develop microsatellite (cf. simple sequence repeat, SSR) markers for functionally important genes in(More)