Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Genomic signatures of rapid adaptive evolution in the bluespotted cornetfish, a Mediterranean Lessepsian invader.

Abstract

Biological invasions are increasingly creating ecological and economical problems both on land and in aquatic environments. For over a century, the Mediterranean Sea has steadily been invaded by Indian Ocean/Red Sea species (called Lessepsian invaders) via the Suez Canal, with a current estimate of ∼450 species. The bluespotted cornetfish, Fistularia commersonii, considered a 'Lessepsian sprinter', entered the Mediterranean in 2000 and by 2007 had spread through the entire basin from Israel to Spain. The situation is unique and interesting both because of its unprecedented rapidity and by the fact that it took this species c. 130 years to immigrate into the Mediterranean. Using genome scans, with restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing, we evaluated neutral and selected genomic regions for Mediterranean vs. Red Sea cornetfish individuals. We found that few fixed neutral changes were detectable among populations. However, almost half of the genes associated with the 47 outlier loci (potentially under selection) were related to disease resistance and osmoregulation. Due to the short time elapsed from the beginning of the invasion to our sampling, we interpret these changes as signatures of rapid adaptation that may be explained by several mechanisms including preadaptation and strong local selection. Such genomic regions are therefore good candidates to further study their role in invasion success.