Repeated genomic signatures of adaptation to urbanisation in a songbird across Europe

Pablo Salmón, Arne Jacobs, Dag Ahrén, Clotilde Biard, Niels J. Dingemanse, Davide M. Dominoni, Barbara Helm, Max Lundberg, Juan Carlos Senar, Philipp Sprau, Marcel E. Visser, Caroline Isaksson

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Urbanisation is currently increasing worldwide, and there is now ample evidence of phenotypic changes in wild organisms in response to this novel environment, but the extent to which this adaptation is due to genetic changes is poorly understood. Current evidence for evolution is based on localised studies, and thus lacking replicability. Here, we genotyped great tits (Parus major) from nine cities across Europe, each paired with a rural site, and provide evidence of repeated polygenic responses to urban habitats. In addition, we show that selective sweeps occurred in response to urbanisation within the same genes across multiple cities. These genetic responses were mostly associated with genes related to neural function and development, demonstrating that genetic adaptation to urbanisation occurred around the same pathways in wildlife populations across a large geographical scale.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 7-May-2020

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