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Parallel adaptation of rabbit populations to myxoma virus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Joel M. Alves, Miguel Carneiro, Jade Y. Cheng, Ana Lemos de Matos, Masmudur M. Rahman, Liisa Loog, Paula F. Campos, Nathan Wales, Jon Anders Eriksson, Andrea Manica, Tanja Strive, Stephen C. Graham, Sandra Afonso, Diana J. Bell, Laura Belmont, Jonathan P. Day, Susan J. Fuller, Stéphane Marchandeau, William J. Palmer, Guillaume Queney & 8 more Alison K. Surridge, Filipe G. Vieira, Grant McFadden, Rasmus Nielsen, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Pedro J. Esteves, Nuno Ferrand, Francis M. Jiggins

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1326
Number of pages8
JournalScience
Volume363
Issue number6433
Early online date14 Feb 2019
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print14 Feb 2019
Published22 Mar 2019

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  • Alves et al 2019

    Alves_et_al_2019.pdf, 5.73 MB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:14 Feb 2019

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

King's Authors

Abstract

In the 1950s the myxoma virus was released into European rabbit populations in Australia and Europe, decimating populations and resulting in the rapid evolution of resistance. We investigated the genetic basis of resistance by comparing the exomes of rabbits collected before and after the pandemic. We found a strong pattern of parallel evolution, with selection on standing genetic variation favouring the same alleles in Australia, France and the United Kingdom. Many of these changes occurred in immunity-related genes, supporting a polygenic basis of resistance. We experimentally validated the role of several genes in viral replication and showed that selection acting on an interferon protein has increased its antiviral effect.

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