Evolutionary signals of selection on cognition from the great tit genome and methylome

Veronika N. Laine, Toni I. Gossmann, Kyle M. Schachtschneider, Colin J. Garroway, Ole Madsen, Koen J.F. Verhoeven, Victor De Jager, Hendrik Jan Megens, Wesley C. Warren, Patrick Minx, Richard P.M.A. Crooijmans, Pádraic Corcoran, Frank Adriaensen, Eduardo Belda, Andrey Bushuev, Mariusz Cichon, Anne Charmantier, Niels Dingemanse, Blandine Doligez, Tapio EevaKjell Einar Erikstad, Slava Fedorov, Michaela Hau, Sabine Hille, Camilla Hinde, Bart Kempenaers, Anvar Kerimov, Milos Krist, Raivo Mand, Erik Matthysen, Reudi Nager, Claudia Norte, Markku Orell, Heinz Richner, Tore Slagsvold, Vallo Tilgar, Joost Tinbergen, Janos Torok, Barbara Tschirren, Tera Yuta, Ben C. Sheldon, Jon Slate, Kai Zeng, Kees Van Oers, Marcel E. Visser, Martien A.M. Groenen

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66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For over 50 years, the great tit (Parus major) has been a model species for research in evolutionary, ecological and behavioural research; in particular, learning and cognition have been intensively studied. Here, to provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms behind these important traits, we de novo assemble a great tit reference genome and whole-genome re-sequence another 29 individuals from across Europe. We show an overrepresentation of genes related to neuronal functions, learning and cognition in regions under positive selection, as well as increased CpG methylation in these regions. In addition, great tit neuronal non-CpG methylation patterns are very similar to those observed in mammals, suggesting a universal role in neuronal epigenetic regulation which can affect learning-, memory- and experience-induced plasticity. The high-quality great tit genome assembly will play an instrumental role in furthering the integration of ecological, evolutionary, behavioural and genomic approaches in this model species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10474
JournalNature communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 25 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Laine, V. N., Gossmann, T. I., Schachtschneider, K. M., Garroway, C. J., Madsen, O., Verhoeven, K. J. F., De Jager, V., Megens, H. J., Warren, W. C., Minx, P., Crooijmans, R. P. M. A., Corcoran, P., Adriaensen, F., Belda, E., Bushuev, A., Cichon, M., Charmantier, A., Dingemanse, N., Doligez, B., ... Groenen, M. A. M. (2016). Evolutionary signals of selection on cognition from the great tit genome and methylome. Nature communications, 7, [10474]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10474