Species of Anolis lizards of the West Indies that naturally inhabit hot and open areas also tend to thrive in urban areas. In this study, transcriptome was sequenced for nine species of Cuban Anolis lizards that are closely related to each other, but inhabit different thermal microhabitats. Using PAML and HyPhy software, we attempted to identify genes and amino acid sites under positive selection in the common ancestral branch of A. porcatus and A. allisoni, and the branch of A. sagrei, which inhabit hot and open areas, and thrive in urban areas. Although there were no genes where positive selection was commonly detected on both of the tested branches, positive selection was detected in genes involved in the stress response (e.g., DNA damage and oxidative stress) and cardiac function, which could be related to adaptive evolution of tolerance to heat or ultraviolet radiation, on both branches. These findings suggest that adaptive evolution of the response to stress caused by heat or ultraviolet radiation might have occurred in ancestors of Anolis species inhabiting hot and open areas and might be related to the current thriving in urban areas of them.
- positive selection
- thermal adaptation
- urban tolerance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation