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ddRAD-seq reveals the genetic structure and detects signals of selection in Italian brown trout
Genetics Selection Evolution  (IF5.1),  Pub Date : 2022-01-31, DOI: 10.1186/s12711-022-00698-7
Magris, Gabriele, Marroni, Fabio, D’Agaro, Edo, Vischi, Massimo, Chiabà, Cristina, Scaglione, Davide, Kijas, James, Messina, Maria, Tibaldi, Emilio, Morgante, Michele

Brown trout is one of the most widespread fresh-water fish species in Europe. The evolutionary history of and phylogenetic relationships between brown trout populations are complex, and this is especially true for Italian populations, which are heavily influenced in different ways by stocking practices. The characterization of the genetic structure of Italian brown trout populations may give information on the risk of losing endemic Italian populations due to lack of genetic diversity or to admixture with stocking populations. The identification of signatures of selection, and the information deriving from dense genotyping data will help genotype-informed breeding programs. We used a ddRAD-seq approach to obtain more than 100,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and to characterize the population structure and signatures of selection in 90 brown trout samples. Italian brown trout populations are genetically differentiated, although the stocking practices have introduced strong admixture in endemic Italian trout, especially with the Atlantic lineage. Most of the analysed populations showed high levels of kinship and inbreeding. We detected putative signatures of selection using different approaches, and investigated if the regions were enriched for functional categories. Several regions putatively under selection and characterized by a reduction in heterozygosity across all the studied populations are enriched for genes involved in the response to viral infections. Our results, which show evidence of admixture with the Atlantic lineage (commonly used for stocking), confirm the need for controlling stocking practices, in order to avoid the erosion of the endemic gene pool; given the apparently high levels of kinship and inbreeding in local populations, our results also show the need to take action for increasing gene diversity. In addition, we used the genetically-distinct lineages to detect signatures of selection and we identified putative signatures of selection in several regions associated with resistance to infectious diseases. These constitute candidate regions for the study of resistance to infections in wild and farmed trout.