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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Quantifying adaptive evolution and the effects of natural selection across the Norway spruce genome

Wang, Xi; Ingvarsson, Par K.


Detecting natural selection is one of the major goals of evolutionary genomics. Here, we sequenced the whole genome of 25 Picea abies individuals and quantified the amount of selection across the genome. Using an estimate of the distribution of fitness effects, we showed that both negative selection and the rate of positively selected substitutions are very limited in coding regions. We found a positive correlation between the rate of adaptive substitutions and recombination rate and a negative correlation between the rate of adaptive substitutions and gene density, suggesting a widespread influence from Hill-Robertson interference on the efficiency of protein adaptation in P. abies. Finally, the distinct population statistics between genomic regions under either positive or balancing selection with that under neutral regions indicated the impact of natural selection on the genomic architecture of Norway spruce. Further gene ontology enrichment analysis for genes located in regions identified as undergoing either positive or long-term balancing selection also highlighted the specific molecular functions and biological processes that appear to be targets of selection in Norway spruce.


balancing selection; negative selection; Picea abies; positive selection; whole-genome resequencing

Published in

Molecular Ecology
2023, Volume: 32, number: 19, pages: 5288-5304
Publisher: WILEY

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Evolutionary Biology
    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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