Limited Evidence for Parallel Evolution Among Desert-Adapted Peromyscus Deer Mice

Jocelyn P. Colella, Anna Tigano, Olga Dudchenko, Arina D. Omer, Ruqayya Khan, Ivan D. Bochkov, Erez L. Aiden, Matthew D. MacManes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Warming climate and increasing desertification urge the identification of genes involved in heat and dehydration tolerance to better inform and target biodiversity conservation efforts. Comparisons among extant desert-adapted species can highlight parallel or convergent patterns of genome evolution through the identification of shared signatures of selection. We generate a chromosome-level genome assembly for the canyon mouse (Peromyscus crinitus) and test for a signature of parallel evolution by comparing signatures of selective sweeps across population-level genomic resequencing data from another congeneric desert specialist (Peromyscus eremicus) and a widely distributed habitat generalist (Peromyscus maniculatus), that may be locally adapted to arid conditions. We identify few shared candidate loci involved in desert adaptation and do not find support for a shared pattern of parallel evolution. Instead, we hypothesize divergent molecular mechanisms of desert adaptation among deer mice, potentially tied to species-specific historical demography, which may limit or enhance adaptation. We identify a number of candidate loci experiencing selective sweeps in the P. crinitus genome that are implicated in osmoregulation (Trypsin, Prostasin) and metabolic tuning (Kallikrein, eIF2-alpha kinase GCN2, APPL1/2), which may be important for accommodating hot and dry environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-302
Number of pages17
JournalThe Journal of heredity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021


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