Sequencing red fox y chromosome fragments to develop phylogenetically informative snp markers and glimpse male-specific trans-pacific phylogeography

Benjamin N. Sacks, Zachary Lounsberry, Halie M. Rando, Kristopher Kluepfel, Steven R. Fain, Sarah K. Brown, Anna V. Kukekova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has a wide global distribution with many ecotypes and has been bred in captivity for various traits, making it a useful evolutionary model system. The Y chromosome represents one of the most informative markers of phylogeography, yet it has not been well-studied in the red fox due to a lack of the necessary genomic resources. We used a target capture approach to sequence a portion of the red fox Y chromosome in a geographically diverse red fox sample, along with other canid species, to develop single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, 13 of which we validated for use in subsequent studies. Phylogenetic analyses of the Y chromosome sequences, including calibration to outgroups, confirmed previous estimates of the timing of two intercontinental exchanges of red foxes, the initial colonization of North America from Eurasia approximately half a million years ago and a subsequent continental exchange before the last Pleistocene glaciation (~100,000 years ago). However, in contrast to mtDNA, which showed unidirectional transfer from Eurasia to North America prior to the last glaciation, the Y chromosome appears to have been transferred from North America to Eurasia during this period. Additional sampling is needed to confirm this pattern and to further clarify red fox Y chromosome phylogeography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalGenes
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Target capture
  • V. vulpes
  • Vulpes fulva
  • Y chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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