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      Widespread parallel evolution in sticklebacks by repeated fixation of Ectodysplasin alleles.

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          Abstract

          Major phenotypic changes evolve in parallel in nature by molecular mechanisms that are largely unknown. Here, we use positional cloning methods to identify the major chromosome locus controlling armor plate patterning in wild threespine sticklebacks. Mapping, sequencing, and transgenic studies show that the Ectodysplasin (EDA) signaling pathway plays a key role in evolutionary change in natural populations and that parallel evolution of stickleback low-plated phenotypes at most freshwater locations around the world has occurred by repeated selection of Eda alleles derived from an ancestral low-plated haplotype that first appeared more than two million years ago. Members of this clade of low-plated alleles are present at low frequencies in marine fish, which suggests that standing genetic variation can provide a molecular basis for rapid, parallel evolution of dramatic phenotypic change in nature.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Science
          Science (New York, N.Y.)
          American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
          1095-9203
          0036-8075
          Mar 25 2005
          : 307
          : 5717
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5329, USA.
          Article
          307/5717/1928
          10.1126/science.1107239
          15790847
          2e8780f5-ab13-4d13-b17f-8d86328093d5

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