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From the same journal

Parallel adaptation of rabbit populations to myxoma virus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Joel M. Alves
  • Miguel Carneiro
  • Jade Y. Cheng
  • Ana Lemos de Matos
  • Masmudur M. Rahman
  • Liisa Loog
  • Paula F. Campos
  • Anders Eriksson
  • Andrea Manica
  • Tanja Strive
  • Stephen C. Graham
  • Sandra Afonso
  • Diana J. Bell
  • Laura Belmont
  • Jonathan P. Day
  • Susan J. Fuller
  • Stéphane Marchandeau
  • William J. Palmer
  • Guillaume Queney
  • Alison K. Surridge
  • Filipe G. Vieira
  • Grant McFadden
  • Rasmus Nielsen
  • M. Thomas P. Gilbert
  • Pedro J. Esteves
  • Nuno Ferrand
  • Francis M. Jiggins


Publication details

DateAccepted/In press - 1 Feb 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 14 Feb 2019
Number of pages13
Early online date14/02/19
Original languageEnglish


In the 1950s the myxoma virus was released into European rabbit populations in Australia and Europe, decimating populations and resulting in the rapid evolution of resistance. We investigated the genetic basis of resistance by comparing the exomes of rabbits collected before and after the pandemic. We found a strong pattern of parallel evolution, with selection on standing genetic variation favoring the same alleles in Australia, France and the United Kingdom. Many of these changes occurred in immunity-related genes, supporting a polygenic basis of resistance. We experimentally validated the role of several genes in viral replication and showed that selection acting on an interferon protein has increased its antiviral effect.

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