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Adaptive admixture in the West African bovine hybrid zone: insight from the Borgou population

Flori L., Thevenon S, Dayo GK, Senou M, Sylla S, Berthier D., Moazami-Goudarzi K, Gautier M. 2014. Mol Ecol.

Flori L., Thevenon S, Dayo GK, Senou M, Sylla S, Berthier D., Moazami-Goudarzi K, Gautier M. 2014 Adaptive admixture in the West African bovine hybrid zone: insight from the Borgou population. Mol Ecol. 2014 Jul;23(13):3241-57. doi: 10.1111/mec.12816. Epub 2014 Jun 19

Abstract:

Understanding the adaptive response to environmental fluctuations represents a central issue in evolutionary biology. Population admixture between divergent ancestries has often been considered as an efficient short-term adaptation strategy. Cattle populations from the West African Bos taurus × Bos indicus hybrid zone represent a valuable resource to characterize the effect of such adaptive admixture at the genome level. We here provide a detailed assessment of the global and local genome ancestries of the Borgou breed, one of the most representative cattle of this hybrid zone. We analysed a large data set consisting of 38,100 SNPs genotyped on 203 Borgou and 591 individuals representative of all the different cattle ancestries. At the global genomic level, we show that Borgou is a stabilized admixed breed whose origin (c. 130 years ago) traces back to the great African rinderpest pandemic, several centuries after the last admixture events, the West African zebus originate from (c. 500 years ago). To identify footprints of adaptive admixture, we combined the identification of signatures of selection and the functional annotation of the underlying genes using systems biology tools. The detection of the SILV coat coloration gene likely under artificial selection may be viewed as a validation of our approach. Overall, our results suggest that the long-term presence of pathogens and the intermediate environmental conditions are the main acting selective pressures. Our analytical framework can be extended to other model or nonmodel species to understand the process that shapes the patterns of genetic variability in hybrid zones.