Size does matter: Parallel evolution of adaptive thermal tolerance and body size facilitates adaptation to climate change in domestic cattle

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Elayadeth-Meethal, M., Veettil, A. T., Maloney, S. K., Hawkins, N., Misselbrook, T. H., Sejian, V., Rivero-Viera, J. M. and Lee, M. R. F. 2018. Size does matter: Parallel evolution of adaptive thermal tolerance and body size facilitates adaptation to climate change in domestic cattle. Ecology and Evolution. 8 (21), pp. 10608-10620.

AuthorsElayadeth-Meethal, M., Veettil, A. T., Maloney, S. K., Hawkins, N., Misselbrook, T. H., Sejian, V., Rivero-Viera, J. M. and Lee, M. R. F.
Abstract

The adaptive potential of livestock under a warming climate is increasingly relevant in relation to the growing pressure of global food security. Studies on heat tolerance
demonstrate the interplay of adaptation and acclimatization in functional traits, for example, a reduction in body size and enhanced tolerance in response to a warming climate. However, current lack of understanding of functional traits and phylogenetic history among phenotypically distinct populations constrains predictions of climate change impact. Here, we demonstrate evidence of parallel evolution in adaptive tolerance to heat stress in dwarf cattle breeds (DCB, Bos taurus indicus) and compare their thermoregulatory responses with those in standard size cattle breeds (SCB,
crossbred, Bos taurus indicus × Bos taurus taurus). We measured vital physiological, hematological, biochemical, and gene expression changes in DCB and SCB and compared
the molecular phylogeny using mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) analysis. Our results show that SCB can acclimatize in the short term to higher temperatures
but reach their tolerance limit under prevailing tropical conditions, while DCB is adapted to the warmer climate. Increased hemoglobin concentration, reduced cellular
size, and smaller body size enhance thermal tolerance. Mitogenome analysis revealed that different lineages of DCB have evolved reduced size independently, as a parallel adaptation to heat stress. The results illustrate mechanistic ways of dwarfing, body size‐dependent tolerance, and differential fitness in a large mammal species under harsh field conditions, providing a background for comparing similar populations during global climate change. These demonstrate the value of studies combining functional, physiological, and evolutionary approaches to delineate adaptive potential and plasticity in domestic species. We thus highlight the value of locally adapted breeds as a reservoir of genetic variation contributing to the global domestic genetic resource pool that will become increasingly important for livestock production systems under a warming climate.

KeywordsAdaptive tolerance; Heat stress; Livestock; Phenotypic plasticity; Phylogeny; Size dependence
Year of Publication2018
JournalEcology and Evolution
Journal citation8 (21), pp. 10608-10620
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/ece3.4550
PubMed ID30464832
Open accessPublished as green open access
FunderBBSRC Newton funding
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online05 Oct 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Aug 2018
PublisherWiley
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN2045-7758

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/84v12/size-does-matter-parallel-evolution-of-adaptive-thermal-tolerance-and-body-size-facilitates-adaptation-to-climate-change-in-domestic-cattle

50 total views
22 total downloads
0 views this month
0 downloads this month
Download files as zip