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Evidence of genotypic adaptation to the exposure to volcanic risk at the dopamine receptor DRD4 locus

Charlotte Faurie (), Clement Mettling, Mohamed Ali Bchir, Danang Hadmoko, Carine Heitz, Evi Lestari, Michel Raymond and Marc Willinger ()
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Charlotte Faurie: UMR ISEM - Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EPHE - École pratique des hautes études - UM - Université de Montpellier - Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD] : UR226 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Clement Mettling: IGH - Institut de génétique humaine - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Mohamed Ali Bchir: ENGEES - École Nationale du Génie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement de Strasbourg
Danang Hadmoko: Universitas Gadjah Mada
Carine Heitz: UMR GESTE - Gestion Territoriale de l'Eau et de l'environnement - ENGEES - École Nationale du Génie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement de Strasbourg - IRSTEA - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture
Evi Lestari: Universitas Gadjah Mada
Michel Raymond: UMR ISEM - Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EPHE - École pratique des hautes études - UM - Université de Montpellier - Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD] : UR226 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Abstract: Humans have colonized and adapted to extremely diverse environments, and the genetic basis of some such adaptations, for example to high altitude, is understood. In some cases, local or regional variation in selection pressure could also cause behavioural adaptations. Numerous genes influence behaviour, such as alleles at the dopamine receptor locus D4 (DRD4), which are associated with attitude toward risk in experimental settings. We demonstrate genetic differentiation for this gene, but not for five unlinked microsatellite loci, between high- and low risk environments around Mount Merapi, an active volcano in Java, Indonesia. Using a behavioural experiment, we further show that people inhabiting the high risk environment are significantly more risk averse. We provide evidence of a genetic basis for this difference, showing that heterozygotes at the DRD4 locus are more risk averse than either homozygotes. In the high risk environment, allele frequencies are equilibrated, generating a high frequency of heterozygotes. Thus it appears that overdominance (i.e. selective advantage of heterozygotes) generates negative frequency dependent selection, favouring the rarer allele at this locus. Our results therefore provide evidence for adaptation to a marginal habitat through the selection of a neurocognitive trait with a genetic basis.

Date: 2016
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02062364
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Published in Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 6 (37745), 7 p. ⟨10.1038/srep37745⟩

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02062364

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