A genetic perspective on rapid evolution in cane toads (Rhinella marina)

Rollins, Lee A., Richardson, Mark F. and Shine, Richard 2015, A genetic perspective on rapid evolution in cane toads (Rhinella marina), Molecular ecology, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 2264-2276, doi: 10.1111/mec.13184.

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Title A genetic perspective on rapid evolution in cane toads (Rhinella marina)
Author(s) Rollins, Lee A.ORCID iD for Rollins, Lee A. orcid.org/0000-0002-3279-7005
Richardson, Mark F.
Shine, Richard
Journal name Molecular ecology
Volume number 24
Issue number 9
Start page 2264
End page 2276
Total pages 13
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-05
ISSN 0962-1083
Keyword(s) invasive species
phenotypic change
rapid evolution
Summary The process of biological invasion exposes a species to novel pressures, in terms of both the environments it encounters and the evolutionary consequences of range expansion. Several invaders have been shown to exhibit rapid evolutionary changes in response to those pressures, thus providing robust opportunities to clarify the processes at work during rapid phenotypic transitions. The accelerating pace of invasion of cane toads (Rhinella marina) in tropical Australia during its 80-year history has been well characterized at the phenotypic level, including common-garden experiments that demonstrate heritability of several dispersal-relevant traits. Individuals from the invasion front (and their progeny) show distinctive changes in morphology, physiology and behaviour that, in combination, result in far more rapid dispersal than is true of conspecifics from long-colonized areas. The extensive body of work on cane toad ecology enables us to place into context studies of the genetic basis of these traits. Our analyses of differential gene expression from toads from both ends of this invasion-history transect reveal substantial upregulation of many genes, notably those involved in metabolism and cellular repair. Clearly, then, the dramatically rapid phenotypic evolution of cane toads in Australia has been accompanied by substantial shifts in gene expression, suggesting that this system is well suited to investigating the genetic underpinnings of invasiveness.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/mec.13184
Field of Research 060303 Biological Adaptation
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID FL120100074
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30073266

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