Abstract # 13437 Poster # 155:

Scheduled for Friday, August 23, 2019 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Alumni Lounge) Poster Presentation


EVIDENCE OF SELECTION IN THE UCP1 GENE REGION SUGGESTS LOCAL ADAPTATION TO COLD TEMPERATURES IN SOUTH AFRICAN VERVET MONKEYS (CHLOROCEBUS PYGERYTHRUS)

C. M. Gagnon1, A. J. Jasinska4,5, N. B. Freimer4, J. P. Grobler2, T. R. Turner2,3 and C. A. Schmitt1
1Boston University, Department of Anthropology, 232 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215, USA, 2Department of Genetics, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, FS 9301 South Africa, 3Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, 53201, USA, 4Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 5Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland
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Savanna monkeys, the genus Chlorocebus, are distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa, experiencing a wide range of climatic conditions. The southern expansion of the genus into colder latitudes was likely a significant driver of selection for genes associated with thermoregulation. We investigated population level genetic variation of the UCP1 gene – associated with brown/beige fat activation facilitating non-shivering thermogenesis – in a sample of 163 wild savanna monkeys from populations experiencing a wide range of temperature variation. Our analyses included 10 kb flanking regions of UCP1 to capture variation in potential cis-acting regulatory regions. Principal component analyses of UCP1 across the genus shows differentiation between taxa and local populations consistent with phylogenetic distance. In the South African population (n=49), we found 12 SNPs out of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, none in coding regions. Although Tajima’s D and Fu and Li’s D and F suggest no deviation from neutrality, linkage-based analyses (iHS and EHH) suggest recent positive selective sweeps at 3 of the loci out of HWE: 7:87483771 in the 3’ downstream region (piHS=1.307), 7:87493023 in intron 5-6 (piHS=2.243), and 7:87496971 in intron 2-3 (piHS=1.698). PGLS models of each SNP indicate variant frequencies are associated with climatic variables, further suggesting selection for these variants related to cold temperatures. Although compelling, that these variants are in non-coding regions with no previously known regulatory function calls for further validation and research.