Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2017

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster E78

Ptarmigan genomes and transcriptomes

Höfundar / Authors: Kristinn P. Magnússon (1,2,3) and Páll Melsted (3,4,5)

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1 The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, 600 Akureyri, Iceland 2 Department of Natural Resource Sciences, University of Akureyri, 600 Akureyri, Iceland 3 Biomedical Center, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland 4 Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science, University of Iceland, 107 Reykjavik, Iceland 5 deCODE Genetics/Amgen, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland

Kynnir / Presenter: Kristinn Pétur Magnússon

Tracking past population fluctuations can give insight into current levels of genetic variation present within species. Analysing population dynamics over larger time scales can be aligned to known climatic changes to determine the response of species to varying environments. Here, we applied the Pairwise Sequentially Markovian Coalescent (PSMC) model to infer past population dynamics of three widespread grouse species; black grouse, willow grouse and rock ptarmigan. This allowed the tracking of the effective population size (N_e) of all three species beyond 1 Mya, revealing that i) early Pleistocene cooling (~2.5 Mya) caused an increase in the willow grouse and rock ptarmigan populations, ii) the mid-Brunhes event (~430 kya) and following climatic oscillations decreased the N_e of willow grouse and rock ptarmigan, but increased the N_e of black grouse and iii) all three species reacted differently to the last glacial maximum (LGM) – black grouse increased prior to it, rock ptarmigan experienced a severe bottleneck and willow grouse was maintained at large population size. We postulate that the varying PSMC signal throughout the LGM depicts only the local history of the species. Our results highlight the usefulness of the PSMC approach in investigating species’ reaction to climate change in the deep past, but also that caution should be taken in drawing general conclusions about the recent past.