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Deep sampling of Hawaiian Caenorhabditis elegans reveals high genetic diversity and admixture with global populations

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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e50465 doi: 10.7554/eLife.50465

Abstract

Hawaiian isolates of the nematode species Caenorhabditis elegans have long been known to harbor genetic diversity greater than the rest of the worldwide population, but this observation was supported by only a small number of wild strains. To better characterize the niche and genetic diversity of Hawaiian C. elegans and other Caenorhabditis species, we sampled different substrates and niches across the Hawaiian islands. We identified hundreds of new Caenorhabditis strains from known species and a new species, Caenorhabditis oiwi. Hawaiian C. elegans are found in cooler climates at high elevations but are not associated with any specific substrate, as compared to other Caenorhabditis species. Surprisingly, admixture analysis revealed evidence of shared ancestry between some Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian C. elegans isolates. We suggest that the deep diversity we observed in Hawaii might represent patterns of ancestral genetic diversity in the C. elegans species before human influence.

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Author details

  1. Tim A Crombie

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5645-4154
  2. Stefan Zdraljevic

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2883-4616
  3. Daniel E Cook

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Robyn E Tanny

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Shannon C Brady

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Ye Wang

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Kathryn S Evans

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Steffen Hahnel

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Daehan Lee

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Briana C Rodriguez

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Gaotian Zhang

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  12. Joost van der Zwagg

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  13. Karin Kiontke

    Department of Biology, New York University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1588-4884
  14. Erik C Andersen

    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    For correspondence
    erik.andersen@northwestern.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0229-9651

Funding

No external funding was received for this work.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Graham Coop, University of California, Davis, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: July 23, 2019
  2. Accepted: December 2, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 3, 2019 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2019, Crombie et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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