Evol Ecol Res 12: 987-994 (2010)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Correlation of life-history traits with the molecular diversity of bird nuclear coding elements

Tangjie Zhang1, Yuzhi Liu2 and Zhiyue Wang3

1College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China,  2College of Animal Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding, China and  3College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China



Question: Is there a relationship between mutations in nuclear coding genes sites and life-history traits? Analyses of polymorphism data of Aves nuclear genes suggest that this is the case.

Data: Obtained from Polymorphix and Popset of GenBank: 752 groups of polymorphism data from 104 Aves nuclear genes of 15 families, 53 genera, 297 species.

Search method: We used Watterson’s estimator (θw ), calculated separately from the non-synonymous (θa ) and synonymous (θs ) sites of the various gene fragments. We performed correlation analysis of the proportion of average non-synonymous mutation sites in coding genes sites and four life-history traits (body mass, metabolic rate, generation time, and longevity).

Conclusions: The proportion of non-synonymous sites is significantly negatively correlated with body mass. But the proportion of non-synonymous sites is not significantly correlated with generation time. A larger fraction of slightly deleterious mutations is fixed in species with either a bigger body mass or a low effective population size (Ne).

Keywords: Aves, life-history traits, mutation, nearly neutral theory.

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