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  • Prokkola, Jenni M.; Åsheim, Eirik R.; Morozov, Sergey; Bangura, Paul; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Ruokolainen, Annukka; Primmer, Craig R.; Aykanat, Tutku (2022)
    A better understanding of the genetic and phenotypic architecture underlying life-history variation is a longstanding aim in biology. Theories suggest energy metabolism determines life-history variation by modulating resource acquisition and allocation trade-offs, but the genetic underpinnings of the relationship and its dependence on ecological conditions have rarely been demonstrated. The strong genetic determination of age-at-maturity by two unlinked genomic regions (vgll3 and six6) makes Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) an ideal model to address these questions. Using more than 250 juveniles in common garden conditions, we quantified the covariation between metabolic phenotypes-standard and maximum metabolic rates (SMR and MMR), and aerobic scope (AS)-and the life-history genomic regions, and tested if food availability modulates the relationships. We found that the early maturation genotype in vgll3 was associated with higher MMR and consequently AS. Additionally, MMR exhibited physiological epistasis; it was decreased when late maturation genotypes co-occurred in both genomic regions. Contrary to our expectation, the life-history genotypes had no effects on SMR. Furthermore, food availability had no effect on the genetic covariation, suggesting a lack of genotype-by-environment interactions. Our results provide insights on the key organismal processes that link energy use at the juvenile stage to age-at-maturity, indicating potential mechanisms by which metabolism and life-history can coevolve.
  • Morozov, Sergey; Leinonen, Tuomas; Merilä, Juha; McCairns, R. J. Scott (2018)
    Conspecifics inhabiting divergent environments frequently differ in morphology, physiology, and performance, but the interrelationships amongst traits and with Darwinian fitness remains poorly understood. We investigated population differentiation in morphology, metabolic rate, and swimming performance in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.), contrasting a marine/ancestral population with two distinct freshwater morphotypes derived from it: the typical low-plated morph, and a unique small-plated morph. We test the hypothesis that similar to plate loss in other freshwater populations, reduction in lateral plate size also evolved in response to selection. Additionally, we test how morphology, physiology, and performance have evolved in concert as a response to differences in selection between marine and freshwater environments. We raised pure-bred second-generation fish originating from three populations and quantified their lateral plate coverage, burst- and critical swimming speeds, as well as standard and active metabolic rates. Using a multivariate Q(ST)-F-ST framework, we detected signals of directional selection on metabolic physiology and lateral plate coverage, notably demonstrating that selection is responsible for the reduction in lateral plate coverage in a small-plated stickleback population. We also uncovered signals of multivariate selection amongst all bivariate trait combinations except the two metrics of swimming performance. Divergence between the freshwater and marine populations exceeded neutral expectation in morphology and in most physiological and performance traits, indicating that adaptation to freshwater habitats has occurred, but through different combinations of traits in different populations. These results highlight both the complex interplay between morphology, physiology and performance in local adaptation, and a framework for their investigation.