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RAD-Seq derived markers flank the shell colour and banding loci of the Cepaea nemoralis supergene

Richards, Paul M.; Liu, M. Maureen; Lowe, Natalie; Davey, John W.; Blaxter, Mark L.; Davison, Angus

RAD-Seq derived markers flank the shell colour and banding loci of the Cepaea nemoralis supergene Thumbnail


Paul M. Richards

M. Maureen Liu

Natalie Lowe

John W. Davey

Mark L. Blaxter

Professor of Evolutionary Genetics


Studies on the classic shell colour and banding polymorphism of the land snail Cepaea
played a crucial role in establishing the importance of natural selection in maintaining
morphological variation. Cepaea is also a pre-eminent model for ecological genetics
because the outward colour and banding phenotype is entirely genetically determined,
primarily by a ‘supergene’ of at least five loci. Unfortunately, progress in
understanding the evolution and maintenance of the Cepaea polymorphism stalled,
partly because of a lack of genetic markers. With a view to re-establish Cepaea as a
prominent model of molecular ecology, we made six laboratory crosses of Cepaea
nemoralis, five of which segregated for shell ground colour (C) and the presence or
absence of bands (B). First, scoring of colour and banding in 323 individuals found no
recombination between the C and B loci of the supergene. Second, using restriction
site–associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq) of two parents and 22 offspring, we identified
44 anonymous markers putatively linked to the colour (C) and banding (B) loci.
The genotype of eleven of the most promising RAD-Seq markers was independently
validated in the same 22 offspring, then up to a further 146 offspring were genotyped.
The closest RAD-Seq markers scored are within ~0.6 centimorgan (cM) of the C-B
supergene linkage group, with the combined loci together forming a 35.8 cM linkage
map of markers that flank both sides of the Cepaea C-B supergene.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 17, 2014
Publicly Available Date Apr 17, 2014
Journal Molecular Ecology
Print ISSN 0962-1083
Electronic ISSN 0962-1083
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 11
Public URL
Publisher URL


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