Sarcoptic mange severity is associated with reduced genomic variation and evidence of selection in Yellowstone National Park wolves (Canis lupus)

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Title

Sarcoptic mange severity is associated with reduced genomic variation and evidence of selection in Yellowstone National Park wolves (Canis lupus)

Description

Population genetic theory posits that molecular variation buffers against disease risk. Although this “monoculture effect” is well supported in agricultural settings, its applicability to wildlife populations remains in question. In the present study, we examined the genomics underlying individual-level disease severity and population-level consequences of sarcoptic mange infection in a wild population of canids. Using gray wolves (Canis lupus) reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) as our focal system, we leveraged 25 years of observational data and biobanked blood and tissue to genotype 76,859 loci in over 400 wolves. At the individual level, we reported an inverse relationship between host genomic variation and infection severity. We additionally identified 410 loci significantly associated with mange severity, with annotations related to inflammation, immunity, and skin barrier integrity and disorders. We contextualized results within environmental, demographic, and behavioral variables, and confirmed that genetic variation was predictive of infection severity. At the population level, we reported decreased genome-wide variation since the initial gray wolf reintroduction event and identified evidence of selection acting against alleles associated with mange infection severity. We concluded that genomic variation plays an important role in disease severity in YNP wolves. This role scales from individual to population levels, and includes patterns of genome-wide variation in support of the monoculture effect and specific loci associated with the complex mange phenotype. Results yielded system-specific insights, while also highlighting the relevance of genomic analyses to wildlife disease ecology, evolution, and conservation.

Bibliographic Citation

DeCandia, A. L., E. C. Schrom, E. E. Brandell, D. R. Stahler, and B. M. vonHoldt. 2021. Sarcoptic mange severity is associated with reduced genomic variation and evidence of selection in Yellowstone National Park wolves (Canis lupus). Evolutionary applications, 14(2):429-445, https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13127

Creator

DeCandia, Alexandra L.
Schrom, Edward C.
Brandell, Ellen E.
Stahler, Daniel R.
vonHoldt, Bridgett M.

Subject

Ectoparasitism
Infection severity
Mite infestations
Natural selection
RAD-sequencing
Sarcoptic mange

Extent

17 pages

Type

Article

Format

application/pdf

Language

English

Is Part Of

Evolutionary Applications

Date Accepted

2020/08/25

Date Issued

2020/09/10

Date Modified

2020/07/28

Date Submitted

2020/06/03

Collection

Citation

DeCandia, Alexandra L. et al., “Sarcoptic mange severity is associated with reduced genomic variation and evidence of selection in Yellowstone National Park wolves (Canis lupus),” CPW Digital Collections, accessed February 27, 2024, https://cpw.cvlcollections.org/items/show/393.