Genetics, Development, and Evolution

Genetics, Development, and Evolution



I chose a series of papers from David Kingsley's lab that dissects the genetic and developmental bases of adaptive phenotypes among morphologically divergent populations of stickleback fish. This particular sequence of studies starts with identifying the genetic basis of a particular phenotype and progresses through functional studies that show the proximate cause of the phenotype, to patterns of parallel evolution among geographic widespread populations.


Applicable for Courses:

Educational Level:

Roadmap Objectives:

    • Article: The genetic architecture of divergence between threespine stickleback species. (2001) Peichel et al. Nature 414: 901-905.
    • Content area/major concepts: This is the initial paper that maps large regions of the stickleback genome to identify regions that specify phenotypic differences between two different morphs of freshwater populations.

      Reproductive isolation, Haldane's rule, adaptation to different environments, genetic polymorphism vs. fixed differences, neutral markers.

      Genetic linkage, cloning, recombination, genetic effect size, genetics of complex traits.
    • Methods or technology used to obtain data: Genomic and cDNA library construction, microsatellite marker development, probe generation, PCR, quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, linkage map construction, genome-wide genotyping, morphometric techniques, statistical analysis
    • How the CREATE strategy was used:
    • Biggest teaching challenge:
    • Article: Genetic and developmental basis of evolutionary pelvic reduction in threespine sticklebacks. (2004) Shapiro et al. Nature 428: 717-723.
    • Content area/major concepts: This second paper in the sequence identifies a strong candidate gene for specifying morphological differences. The authors perform a series of preliminary experiments that suggest the cause of the difference in in the regulation of this gene (Pitx1).

      Homology via shared ancestry, protein coding vs. regulatory evolution, sequence conservation

      Developmental plasticity, epigenetics, left-right axis specification, enhancer modularity, transcription factor binding, genetic complementation
    • Methods or technology used to obtain data: Linkage mapping, genotyping, BAC library construction, DNA sequencing, RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, gene sequence annotation, statistical analysis
    • How the CREATE strategy was used:
    • Biggest teaching challenge:
    • Article: Adaptive Evolution of Pelvic Reduction in Sticklebacks by Recurrent Deletion of a Pitx1 Enhancer. (2010) Chan et al. Science 327: 302-305.
    • Content area/major concepts: The final paper in the series tests the functional importance of Pitx1 expression for specifying pelvic fin development and explores patterns of evolution at the molecular and organismal levels across several stickleback populations.

      The genetics of recurrent adaptation, allele frequency distribution, parallel evolution, population genetics, molecular signatures of selection.

      Allele-specific expression, fine-mapping genetic regions, gene annotation, enhancer characterization, deletion mapping, genomic stability.
    • Methods or technology used to obtain data: Reporter constructs, pyrosequencing (?), tissue staining, genetic transformation, SNP characterization and mapping, cloning, statistical analysis, computational prediction of DNA sequence properties, population genetic tests of selection
    • How the CREATE strategy was used:
    • Biggest teaching challenge:

Advice for Using Module/Activity:

« Back to Roadmaps

Leave a Comment/Response


Please enter the CAPTCHA text