Physiological Genomics of Adaptation to High-Altitude Hypoxia

Jay F. Storz, Zachary A. Cheviron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Population genomic studies of humans and other animals at high altitude have generated many hypotheses about the genes and pathways that may have contributed to hypoxia adaptation. Future advances require experimental tests of such hypotheses to identify causal mechanisms. Studies to date illustrate the challenge of moving from lists of candidate genes to the identification of phenotypic targets of selection, as it can be difficult to determine whether observed genotype-phenotype associations reflect causal effects or secondary consequences of changes in other traits that are linked via homeostatic regulation. Recent work on high-altitude models such as deer mice has revealed both plastic and evolved changes in respiratory, cardiovascular, and metabolic traits that contribute to aerobic performance capacity in hypoxia, and analyses of tissue-specific transcriptomes have identified changes in regulatory networks that mediate adaptive changes in physiological phenotype. Here we synthesize recent results and discuss lessons learned from studies of high-altitude adaptation that lie at the intersection of genomics and physiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-171
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Animal Biosciences
StatePublished - Feb 15 2021


  • adaptation
  • altitude
  • hypoxia
  • maladaptive plasticity
  • oxygen
  • phenotypic plasticity


Dive into the research topics of 'Physiological Genomics of Adaptation to High-Altitude Hypoxia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this