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Publication MIO : Pratlong M, Haguenauer A, Brener K, Mitta G, Toulza E, Garrabou J (ICM-CSIC/MIO), Bensoussan N, Pontarotti P, Aurelle (MIO) - D. Separate the wheat from the chaff : genomic analysis of local adaptation in the red coral Corallium rubrum (2018), in BioRxiv

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Genomic data allow an in-depth and renewed study of local adaptation.
The red coral (Corallium rubrum, Cnidaria) is a highly genetically
structured species and a promising model for the study of adaptive
processes along an environmental gradient. Here, we used RAD-
Sequencing in order to study the vertical genetic structure of this species
and to search for signals of local adaptation to depth and thermal regime
in the red coral. Previous studies have shown different thermotolerance
levels according to depth in this species which could correspond to genetic
or environmental differences. We designed a sampling scheme with six
pairs of ’shallow vs deep’ populations distributed in three geographical
regions as replicates. Our results showed significant differentiation among
locations and among sites separated by around 20 m depth. The tests of
association between genetics and environment allowed the identification
of candidate loci under selection but with a potentially high rate of false
positive. We discuss the methodological obstacles and biases encountered
for the detection of selected loci in such a strongly genetically structured
species. On this basis, we also discuss the significance of the candidate
loci for local adaptation detected in each geographical region and the
evolution of red coral populations along environmental gradients

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