Evolutionary and demographic consequences of phenological mismatches

Impact: Other Impacts, Cultural Impacts

Description and details of impact

What are the genomic consequences of extremely rapid evolution in the wild? The adaptive evolutionary loss of male song in Hawaiian field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) protects silent “flatwing” males from a lethal eavesdropping parasitoid fly, and invasion and spread of genetic variants causing silence was observed to occur over approximately 20 generations in a population on the island of Kauai and now appears to be fixed. To investigate the genomic and phenotypic consequences of this abrupt bout of adaptation, we first sequenced, assembled, and annotated the cricket genome – the first annotated reference genome for a field cricket. To provide a genomic resource for future work in crickets and allied taxa, we created a new, open‐access genome browser and database for crickets and katydids (www.chirpbase.org) and curated our data and scripts in it. Using RAD‐seq, we then constructed a high‐density linkage map for the species and found that the variant or variants causing flatwing are localized to a large region of the X chromosome, consistent with widespread genomic hitchiking. We performed gene expression analysis of embryonic crickets and found that flatwing is genetically associated with genome‐wide regulatory disruption during development. We quantified variation in another sexual signal, chemical pheromones, and discovered that flatwing is also strongly genetically associated with male pheromone feminization. Our findings illustrate how strong, widespread genetic and phenotypic effects can accompany the rapid emergence and spread of adaptive variants during the very earliest stages of rapid adaptation, and demonstrate how suites of traits that characterize alternative sexual polymorphisms might arise through pleiotropy or genomic hitchhiking following such genomic alteration

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Impact statusCompleted
Category of impactOther Impacts, Cultural Impacts


  • evolution
  • global environmental change
  • international