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  • 1. Alsos, I G
    et al.
    Engelskjon, T
    Gielly, L
    Taberlet, P
    Brochmann, C
    Impact of ice ages on circumpolar molecular diversity: insights from an ecological key species2005In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 14, no 9, p. 2739-2753Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We address the impact of the ice age cycles on intraspecific cpDNA diversity, for the first time on the full circumboreal-circumarctic scale. The bird-dispersed bog bilberry (or arctic blueberry, Vaccinium uliginosum) is a key component of northern ecosystems and is here used to assess diversity in previously glaciated vs. unglaciated areas and the importance of Beringia as a refugium and source for interglacial expansion. Eighteen chloroplast DNA haplotypes were observed in and among 122 populations, grouping into three main lineages which probably diverged before, and thus were affected more or less independently by, all major glaciations. The boreal ‘Amphi-Atlantic lineage’ included one haplotype occurring throughout northern Europe and one occurring in eastern North America, suggesting expansion from at least two bottlenecked, glacial refugium populations. The boreal ‘Beringian lineage’ included seven haplotypes restricted to Beringia and the Pacific coast of USA. The ‘Arctic-Alpine lineage’ included nine haplotypes, one of them fully circumpolar. This lineage was unexpectedly diverse, also in previously glaciated areas, suggesting that it thrived on the vast tundras during the ice ages and recolonized deglaciated terrain over long distances. Its largest area of persistence during glaciations was probably situated in the north, stretching from Beringia and far into Eurasia, and it probably also survived the last glaciation in southern mountain ranges. Although Beringia apparently was important for the initial divergence and expansion of V. uliginosum as well as for continuous survival of both the Beringian and Arctic-Alpine lineages during all ice ages, this region played a minor role as a source for later interglacial expansions.

  • 2. Brunhoff, C.
    et al.
    Galbreath, K. E.
    Fedorov, V. B.
    Cook, J. A.
    Jaarola, M.
    Holarctic phylogeography of the root vole (Microtus oeconomus): Implications for late Quaternary biogeography of high latitudes2003In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 957-968Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A species-wide phylogeographical study of the root vole (Microtus oeconomus) was performed using the whole 1140 base pair mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b gene. We examined 83 specimens from 52 localities resulting in 65 unique haplotypes. Our results demonstrate that the root vole is divided into four main mtDNA phylogenetic lineages that seem to have largely allopatric distributions. Net divergence estimates (2.0-3.5%) between phylogroups, as well as relatively high nucleotide diversity estimates within phylogroups, indicate that the distinct phylogeographical structure was initiated by historical events that predated the latest glaciation. European root voles are divided into a Northern and a Central mtDNA phylogroup. The mtDNA data in concert with fossil records imply that root voles remained north of the classical refugial areas in southern Europe during the last glacial period. The currently fragmented populations in central Europe belong to a single mtDNA phylogroup. The Central Asian and the North European lineages are separated by the Ural Mountains, a phylogeographical split also found in collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx) and the common vole (M. arvalis). The Beringian lineage occurs from eastern Russia through Alaska to northwestern Canada. This distribution is congruent with the traditional boundaries of the Beringian refugium and with phylogeographical work on other organisms. In conclusion, similarities between the phylogeographical patterns in the root vole and other rodents, such as Arctic and subarctic lemmings, as well as more temperate vole species, indicate that late Quaternary geological and climatic events played a strong role in structuring northern biotic communities.

  • 3. Eidesen, P. B.
    et al.
    Alsos, I. G.
    Popp, M.
    Stensrud, O.
    Suda, J.
    Brochmann, C.
    Nuclear vs. plastid data: complex Pleistocene history of a circumpolar key species2007In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 16, no 18, p. 3902-3925Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To fully understand the contemporary genetic structure of plants, both nuclear and plastid markers are needed. Three chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) lineages, which probably diverged before the major Pleistocene glaciations, have been identified in the circumpolar/circumboreal Vaccinium uliginosum. Here we investigate its nuclear DNA variation using nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences, DNA ploidy level measurements and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). We also extend the cpDNA dataset. Two ITS lineages, corresponding to diploids and tetraploids, respectively, were identified. However, both main sequence types apparently occurred in most individual plants but showed ploidy-biased homogenization and possibly reflect paralogy predating the origin of V. uliginosum. The ploidy levels were largely consistent with the cpDNA lineages, suggesting that the initial cpDNA divergence followed early polyploidizations. Five main AFLP groups were identified, consistent with recent glacial refugia in Beringia, western Siberia, the southern European mountains and areas south/east of the Scandinavian and Laurentide ice sheets. Except from the southern European mountains, there has been extensive expansion from all refugia, resulting in several contact zones. Surprisingly, the presumably older ploidy and cpDNA patterns were partly inconsistent with the main AFLP groups and more consistent with AFLP subgroups. A likely major driver causing the inconsistencies is recent nuclear gene flow via unreduced pollen from diploids to tetraploids. This may prevent cytoplasmic introgression and result in overlayed patterns formed by processes dominating at different time scales. The data also suggest more recent polyploidizations, as well as several chloroplast capture events, further complicating this scenario. This study highlights the importance of combining different marker systems to unravel intraspecific histories.

  • 4. Jorgensen, T.
    et al.
    Haile, J.
    Möller, P.
    Andreev, A.
    Boessenkool, S.
    Rasmussen, M.
    Kienast, F.
    Coissac, E.
    Taberlet, P.
    Brochmann, C.
    Bigelow, N. H.
    Andersen, K.
    Orlando, L.
    Gilbert, M. T. P.
    Willerslev, E.
    A comparative study of ancient sedimentary DNA, pollen and macrofossils from permafrost sediments of northern Siberia reveals long-term vegetational stability2012In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although ancient DNA from sediments (sedaDNA) has been used to investigate past ecosystems, the approach has never been directly compared with the traditional methods of pollen and macrofossil analysis. We conducted a comparative survey of 18 ancient permafrost samples spanning the Late Pleistocene (4612.5 thousand years ago), from the Taymyr Peninsula in northern Siberia. The results show that pollen, macrofossils and sedaDNA are complementary rather than overlapping and, in combination, reveal more detailed information on plant palaeocommunities than can be achieved by each individual approach. SedaDNA and macrofossils share greater overlap in plant identifications than with pollen, suggesting that sedaDNA is local in origin. These two proxies also permit identification to lower taxonomic levels than pollen, enabling investigation into temporal changes in species composition and the determination of indicator species to describe environmental changes. Combining data from all three proxies reveals an area continually dominated by a mosaic vegetation of tundra-steppe, pioneer and wet-indicator plants. Such vegetational stability is unexpected, given the severe climate changes taking place in the Northern Hemisphere during this time, with changes in average annual temperatures of >22 degrees C. This may explain the abundance of ice-age mammals such as horse and bison in Taymyr Peninsula during the Pleistocene and why it acted as a refugium for the last mainland woolly mammoth. Our finding reveals the benefits of combining sedaDNA, pollen and macrofossil for palaeovegetational reconstruction and adds to the increasing evidence suggesting large areas of the Northern Hemisphere remained ecologically stable during the Late Pleistocene.

  • 5. Keehnen, Naomi L.P.
    et al.
    Hill, Jason
    Nylin, Sören
    Wheat, Christopher W.
    Microevolutionary selection dynamics acting on immune genes of the green-veined white butterfly, Pieris napi2018In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 27, no 13, p. 2807-2822Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Insects rely on their innate immune system to successfully mediate complex interactions with their microbiota, as well as the microbes present in the environment. Previous work has shown that components of the canonical immune gene repertoire evolve rapidly and have evolutionary characteristics originating from interactions with fast-evolving microorganisms. Although these interactions are likely to vary among populations, there is a poor understanding of the microevolutionary dynamics of immune genes, especially in non-Dipteran insects. Here, we use the full set of canonical insect immune genes to investigate microevolutionary dynamics acting on these genes between and among populations by comparing three allopatric populations of the green-veined white butterfly, Pieris napi (Linné; Lepidoptera, Pieridae). Immune genes showed increased genetic diversity compared to genes from the rest of the genome and various functional categories exhibited different types of signatures of selection, at different evolutionary scales, presenting a complex pattern of selection dynamics. Signatures of balancing selection were identified in 10 genes, and 17 genes appear to be under positive selection. Genes involved with the cellular arm of the immune response as well as the Toll pathway appear to be enriched among our outlier loci, regardless of functional category. This suggests that the targets of selection might focus upon an entire pathway, rather than functional subsets across pathways. Our microevolutionary results are similar to previously observed macroevolutionary patterns from diverse taxa, suggesting that either the immune system is robust to dramatic differences in life history and microbial communities, or that diverse microbes exert similar selection pressures.

  • 6. Nyman, Tommi
    et al.
    Leppänen, Sanna A.
    Várkonyi, Gergely
    Shaw, Mark R.
    Koivisto, Reijo
    Barstad, Trond Elling
    Vikberg, Veli
    Roininen, Heikki
    Determinants of parasitoid communities of willow-galling sawflies: habitat overrides physiology, host plant and space2015In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 24, no 19, p. 5059-5074Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies on the determinants of plant–herbivore and herbivore–parasitoid associations provide important insights into the origin and maintenance of global and local species richness. If parasitoids are specialists on herbivore niches rather than on herbivore taxa, then alternating escape of herbivores into novel niches and delayed resource tracking by parasitoids could fuel diversification at both trophic levels. We used DNA barcoding to identify parasitoids that attack larvae of seven Pontania sawfly species that induce leaf galls on eight willow species growing in subarctic and arctic–alpine habitats in three geographic locations in northern Fennoscandia, and then applied distance- and model-based multivariate analyses and phylogenetic regression methods to evaluate the hierarchical importance of location, phylogeny and different galler niche dimensions on parasitoid host use. We found statistically significant variation in parasitoid communities across geographic locations and willow host species, but the differences were mainly quantitative due to extensive sharing of enemies among gallers within habitat types. By contrast, the divide between habitats defined two qualitatively different network compartments, because many common parasitoids exhibited strong habitat preference. Galler and parasitoid phylogenies did not explain associations, because distantly related arctic–alpine gallers were attacked by a species-poor enemy community dominated by two parasitoid species that most likely have independently tracked the gallers’ evolutionary shifts into the novel habitat. Our results indicate that barcode- and phylogeny-based analyses of food webs that span forested vs. tundra or grassland environments could improve our understanding of vertical diversification effects in complex plant–herbivore–parasitoid networks.

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