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Dr. Rebekah Rogers, UNC Charlotte

November 14, 2022 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Genetic Basis of Adaptation in Freshwater Mussels

Rebekah Rogers, Ph.D., Associate Professor Dept of Bioinformatics and Genomics at UNC Charlotte

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Freshwater Unionid bivalves have recently faced ecological upheaval through pollution, barriers to dispersal, human harvesting, and changes in fish-host prevalence. Currently, over 70% of species are threatened, endangered or extinct. To characterize the genetic response to these recent selective pressures, we collected population genetic data for one successful bivalve species, Megalonaias nervosa. We identify megabase sized regions that are nearly monomorphic across the population, a signal of strong, recent selection reshaping genetic diversity. Genes in sweeps reflect functional classes known to be important for Unionid survival, including anticoagulation genes important for fish host parasitization, detox genes, mitochondria management, and shell formation. We identify selective sweeps in regions with no known functional impacts, suggesting mechanisms of adaptation that deserve greater attention in future work on species survival. Our work suggests that duplicate genes are an essential source of genetic novelty that has helped this successful species succeed in environments where others have struggled. These results suggest that gene duplications deserve greater attention in non-model population genomics, especially in species that have recently faced sudden environmental challenges.

The GGA Seminar Series is held In-Person and on Zoom:


November 14, 2022
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


Stephens Room, 3503 Thomas Hall OR Zoom
112 Derieux Place
Raleigh, NC 27607 United States
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