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Genomics of a killifish from the Seychelles islands supports transoceanic island colonization and reveals relaxed selection of developmental genes

By Rongfeng Cui, Alexandra M. Tyers, Zahabiya Juzar Malubhoy, Sadie Wisotsky, Stefano Valdesalici, Elvina Henriette, Sergei L. Kosakovsky Pond, Dario Riccardo Valenzano

Posted 03 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.03.232421

How freshwater fish colonize remote islands remains an evolutionary puzzle. Tectonic drift and trans-oceanic dispersal models have been proposed as possible alternative mechanisms. Integrating dating of known tectonic events with population genetics and experimental test of salinity tolerance in the Seychelles islands golden panchax (Pachypanchax playfairii), we found support for trans-oceanic dispersal being the most likely scenario. At the macroevolutionary scale, the non-annual killifish golden panchax shows stronger genome-wide purifying selection compared to annual killifishes from continental Africa. Reconstructing past demographies in isolated golden panchax populations provides support for decline in effective population size, which could have allowed slightly deleterious mutations to segregate in the population. Unlike annual killifishes, where relaxed selection preferentially targets aging-related genes, relaxation of purifying selection in golden panchax affects genes involved in developmental processes, including fgf10. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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