Parallel adaptation of rabbit populations to myxoma virus

Joel M. Alves, Miguel Carneiro, Jade Y. Cheng, Ana Lemos de Matos, Masmudur M. Rahman, Liisa Loog, Paula F. Campos, Nathan Wales, Anders Eriksson, Andrea Manica, Tanja Strive, Stephen C. Graham, Sandra Afonso, Diana J. Bell, Laura Belmont, Jonathan P. Day, Susan J. Fuller, Stéphane Marchandeau, William J. Palmer, Guillaume QueneyAlison K. Surridge, Filipe G. Vieira, Grant McFadden, Rasmus Nielsen, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Pedro J. Esteves, Nuno Ferrand, Francis M. Jiggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the 1950s the myxoma virus was released into European rabbit populations in Australia and Europe, decimating populations and resulting in the rapid evolution of resistance. We investigated the genetic basis of resistance by comparing the exomes of rabbits collected before and after the pandemic. We found a strong pattern of parallel evolution, with selection on standing genetic variation favoring the same alleles in Australia, France, and the United Kingdom. Many of these changes occurred in immunity-related genes, supporting a polygenic basis of resistance. We experimentally validated the role of several genes in viral replication and showed that selection acting on an interferon protein has increased the protein’s antiviral effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1326
Number of pages8
JournalScience
Volume363
Issue number6433
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

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  • Cite this

    Alves, J. M., Carneiro, M., Cheng, J. Y., de Matos, A. L., Rahman, M. M., Loog, L., Campos, P. F., Wales, N., Eriksson, A., Manica, A., Strive, T., Graham, S. C., Afonso, S., Bell, D. J., Belmont, L., Day, J. P., Fuller, S. J., Marchandeau, S., Palmer, W. J., ... Jiggins, F. M. (2019). Parallel adaptation of rabbit populations to myxoma virus. Science, 363(6433), 1319-1326. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aau7285