Browsing by Subject "DIVERGENCE"

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  • Kess, Tony; Bentzen, Paul; Lehnert, Sarah J.; Sylvester, Emma V.A.; Lien, Sigbjorn; Kent, Matthew P.; Sinclair-Waters, Marion; Morris, Corey J.; Regular, Paul; Fairweather, Robert; Bradbury, Ian R. (2019)
    Chromosome structural variation may underpin ecologically important intraspecific diversity by reducing recombination within supergenes containing linked, coadapted alleles. Here, we confirm that an ancient chromosomal rearrangement is strongly associated with migratory phenotype and individual genetic structure in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) across the Northwest Atlantic. We reconstruct trends in effective population size over the last century and reveal declines in effective population size matching onset of industrialized harvest (after 1950). We find different demographic trajectories between individuals homozygous for the chromosomal rearrangement relative to heterozygous or homozygous individuals for the noninverted haplotype, suggesting different selective histories across the past 150 years. These results illustrate how chromosomal structural diversity can mediate fine-scale genetic, phenotypic, and demographic variation in a highly connected marine species and show how overfishing may have led to loss of biocomplexity within Northern cod stock.
  • Howlader, Mohammad Sajid Ali; Nair, Abhilash; Gopalan, Sujith V.; Merilä, Juha (2015)
  • Fraimout, Antoine; Li, Zitong; Sillanpää, Mikko J.; Merilä, Juha (2022)
    Heritable variation in traits under natural selection is a prerequisite for evolutionary response. While it is recognized that trait heritability may vary spatially and temporally depending on which environmental conditions traits are expressed under, less is known about the possibility that genetic variance contributing to the expected selection response in a given trait may vary at different stages of ontogeny. Specifically, whether different loci underlie the expression of a trait throughout development and thus providing an additional source of variation for selection to act on in the wild, is unclear. Here we show that body size, an important life-history trait, is heritable throughout ontogeny in the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). Nevertheless, both analyses of quantitative trait loci and genetic correlations across ages show that different chromosomes/loci contribute to this heritability in different ontogenic time-points. This suggests that body size can respond to selection at different stages of ontogeny but that this response is determined by different loci at different points of development. Hence, our study provides important results regarding our understanding of the genetics of ontogeny and opens an interesting avenue of research for studying age-specific genetic architecture as a source of non-parallel evolution.
  • Kivikoski, Mikko; Rastas, Pasi; Löytynoja, Ari; Merila, Juha (2021)
    We describe an integrative approach to improve contiguity and haploidy of a reference genome assembly and demonstrate its impact with practical examples. With two novel features of Lep-Anchor software and a combination of dense linkage maps, overlap detection and bridging long reads, we generated an improved assembly of the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) reference genome. We were able to remove a significant number of haplotypic contigs, detect more genetic variation and improve the contiguity of the genome, especially that of X chromosome. However, improved scaffolding cannot correct for mosaicism of erroneously assembled contigs, demonstrated by a de novo assembly of a 1.6-Mbp inversion. Qualitatively similar gains were obtained with the genome of three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Since the utility of genome-wide sequencing data in biological research depends heavily on the quality of the reference genome, the improved and fully automated approach described here should be helpful in refining reference genome assemblies.
  • Feng, Xueyun; Merilä, Juha; Löytynoja, Ari (2022)
    Introgressive hybridization is an important process in evolution but challenging to identify, undermining the efforts to understand its role and significance. On the contrary, many analytical methods assume direct descent from a single common ancestor, and admixture among populations can violate their assumptions and lead to seriously biased results. A detailed analysis of 888 whole-genome sequences of nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) revealed a complex pattern of population ancestry involving multiple waves of gene flow and introgression across northern Europe. The two recognized lineages were found to have drastically different histories, and their secondary contact zone was wider than anticipated, displaying a smooth gradient of foreign ancestry with some curious deviations from the expected pattern. Interestingly, the freshwater isolates provided peeks into the past and helped to understand the intermediate states of evolutionary processes. Our analyses and findings paint a detailed picture of the complex colonization history of northern Europe and provide backdrop against which introgression and its role in evolution can be investigated. However, they also expose the challenges in analyses of admixed populations and demonstrate how hidden admixture and colonization history misleads the estimation of admixture proportions and population split times.
  • Holm, Liisa (2020)
    DALI is a popular resource for comparing protein structures. The software is based on distance-matrix alignment. The associated web server provides tools to navigate, integrate and organize some data pushed out by genomics and structural genomics. The server has been running continuously for the past 25 years. Structural biologists routinely use DALI to compare a new structure against previously known protein structures. If significant similarities are discovered, it may indicate a distant homology, that is, that the structures are of shared origin. This may be significant in determining the molecular mechanisms, as these may remain very similar from a distant predecessor to the present day, for example, from the last common ancestor of humans and bacteria. Meta-analysis of independent reference-based evaluations of alignment accuracy and fold discrimination shows DALI at top rank in six out of 12 studies. The web server and standalone software are available from .
  • Lever, D.; Rush, L.V.; Thorogood, R.; Gotanda, K. M. (2022)
    Urbanization is rapidly changing ecological niches. On the inhabited Galapagos Islands, Darwin's finches consume human-introduced foods preferentially; however, it remains unclear why. Here, we presented pastry with flavour profiles typical of human foods (oily, salty and sweet) to small ground finches (Geospiza fuliginosa) and medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) to test if latent taste preferences might drive the selection of human foods. If human food flavours were consumed more than a neutral or bitter control only at sites with human foods, then we predicted tastes were acquired after urbanization; however, if no site differences were found then this would indicate latent taste preferences. Contrary to both predictions, we found little evidence that human food flavours were preferred compared with control flavours at any site. Instead, finches showed a weak aversion to oily foods, but only at remote (no human foods present) sites. This was further supported by behavioural responses, with beak-wiping occurring more often at remote sites after finches tasted flavours associated with human foods. Our results suggest, therefore, that while Darwin's finches regularly exposed to human foods might have acquired a tolerance to human food flavours, latent taste preferences are unlikely to have played a major role in their dietary response to increased urbanization.
  • Acanski, Jelena; Vujic, Ante; Djan, Mihajla; Obreht Vidakovic, Dragana; Ståhls, Gunilla; Radenkovic, Snezana (2016)
    Several recent studies have detected and described complexes of cryptic and sibling species in the genus Merodon (Diptera, Syrphidae). One representative of these complexes is the Merodon avidus complex that contains four sibling species, which have proven difficult to distinguish using traditional morphological characters. In the present study, we use two geometric morphometric approaches, as well as molecular characters of the 5' -end of the mtDNA COI gene, to delimit sibling taxa. Analyses based on these data were used to strengthen species boundaries within the complex, and to validate the status of a previously-recognized cryptic taxon from Lesvos Island (Greece), here described as Merodon megavidus Vujic & Radenkovic sp. nov. Geometric morphometric results of both wing and surstylus shape confirm the present classification for three sibling species-M. avidus (Rossi, 1790), M. moenium Wiedemann in Meigen, 1822 and M. ibericus Vujic, 2015-and, importantly, clearly discriminate the newly-described taxon Merodon megavidus sp. nov. In addition to our geometric morphometric results, supporting characters were obtained from molecular analyses of mtDNA COI sequences, which clearly differentiated M. megavidus sp. nov. from the other members of the M. avidus complex. Molecular analyses revealed that the earliest divergence of M. ibericus occurred around 800 ky BP, while the most recent separation happened between M. avidus and M. moenium around 87 ky BP.
  • Feng, Shaohong; Stiller, Josefin; Deng, Yuan; Armstrong, Joel; Fang, Qi; Reeve, Andrew Hart; Xie, Duo; Chen, Guangji; Guo, Chunxue; Faircloth, Brant C.; Petersen, Bent; Wang, Zongji; Zhou, Qi; Diekhans, Mark; Chen, Wanjun; Andreu-Sanchez, Sergio; Margaryan, Ashot; Howard, Jason Travis; Parent, Carole; Pacheco, George; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S.; Puetz, Lara; Cavill, Emily; Ribeiro, Angela M.; Eckhart, Leopold; Fjeldsa, Jon; Hosner, Peter A.; Brumfield, Robb T.; Christidis, Les; Bertelsen, Mads F.; Sicheritz-Ponten, Thomas; Tietze, Dieter Thomas; Robertson, Bruce C.; Song, Gang; Borgia, Gerald; Claramunt, Santiago; Lovette, Irby J.; Cowen, Saul J.; Njoroge, Peter; Dumbacher, John Philip; Ryder, Oliver A.; Fuchs, Jerome; Bunce, Michael; Burt, David W.; Cracraft, Joel; Meng, Guanliang; Hackett, Shannon J.; Ryan, Peter G.; Jønsson, Knud Andreas; Jamieson, Ian G.; da Fonseca, Rute R.; Braun, Edward L.; Houde, Peter; Mirarab, Siavash; Suh, Alexander; Hansson, Bengt; Ponnikas, Suvi; Sigeman, Hanna; Stervander, Martin; Frandsen, Paul B.; van der Zwan, Henriette; van der Sluis, Rencia; Visser, Carina; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Clark, Andrew G.; Fitzpatrick, John W.; Bowman, Reed; Chen, Nancy; Cloutier, Alison; Sackton, Timothy B.; Edwards, Scott V.; Foote, Dustin J.; Shakya, Subir B.; Sheldon, Frederick H.; Vignal, Alain; Soares, Andre E. R.; Shapiro, Beth; Gonzalez-Solis, Jacob; Ferrer-Obiol, Joan; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta; Tigano, Anna; Friesen, Vicki; Dalen, Love; Urrutia, Araxi O.; Szekely, Tamas; Liu, Yang; Campana, Michael G.; Corvelo, Andre; Fleischer, Robert C.; Rutherford, Kim M.; Gemmell, Neil J.; Dussex, Nicolas; Mouritsen, Henrik; Thiele, Nadine; Delmore, Kira; Liedvogel, Miriam; Franke, Andre; Hoeppner, Marc P.; Krone, Oliver; Fudickar, Adam M.; Mila, Borja; Ketterson, Ellen D.; Fidler, Andrew Eric; Friis, Guillermo; Parody-Merino, Angela M.; Battley, Phil F.; Cox, Murray P.; Lima, Nicholas Costa Barroso; Prosdocimi, Francisco; Parchman, Thomas Lee; Schlinger, Barney A.; Loiselle, Bette A.; Blake, John G.; Lim, Haw Chuan; Day, Lainy B.; Fuxjager, Matthew J.; Baldwin, Maude W.; Braun, Michael J.; Wirthlin, Morgan; Dikow, Rebecca B.; Ryder, T. Brandt; Camenisch, Glauco; Keller, Lukas F.; DaCosta, Jeffrey M.; Hauber, Mark E.; Louder, Matthew I. M.; Witt, Christopher C.; McGuire, Jimmy A.; Mudge, Joann; Megna, Libby C.; Carling, Matthew D.; Wang, Biao; Taylor, Scott A.; Del-Rio, Glaucia; Aleixo, Alexandre; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza Ribeiro; Mello, Claudio V.; Weir, Jason T.; Haussler, David; Li, Qiye; Yang, Huanming; Wang, Jian; Lei, Fumin; Rahbek, Carsten; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Graves, Gary R.; Jarvis, Erich D.; Paten, Benedict; Zhang, Guojie (2020)
    Whole-genome sequencing projects are increasingly populating the tree of life and characterizing biodiversity(1-4). Sparse taxon sampling has previously been proposed to confound phylogenetic inference(5), and captures only a fraction of the genomic diversity. Here we report a substantial step towards the dense representation of avian phylogenetic and molecular diversity, by analysing 363 genomes from 92.4% of bird families-including 267 newly sequenced genomes produced for phase II of the Bird 10,000 Genomes (B10K) Project. We use this comparative genome dataset in combination with a pipeline that leverages a reference-free whole-genome alignment to identify orthologous regions in greater numbers than has previously been possible and to recognize genomic novelties in particular bird lineages. The densely sampled alignment provides a single-base-pair map of selection, has more than doubled the fraction of bases that are confidently predicted to be under conservation and reveals extensive patterns of weak selection in predominantly non-coding DNA. Our results demonstrate that increasing the diversity of genomes used in comparative studies can reveal more shared and lineage-specific variation, and improve the investigation of genomic characteristics. We anticipate that this genomic resource will offer new perspectives on evolutionary processes in cross-species comparative analyses and assist in efforts to conserve species. A dataset of the genomes of 363 species from the Bird 10,000 Genomes Project shows increased power to detect shared and lineage-specific variation, demonstrating the importance of phylogenetically diverse taxon sampling in whole-genome sequencing.
  • Kratochwil, Claudius F.; Liang, Yipeng; Urban, Sabine; Torres-Dowdall, Julian; Meyer, Axel (2019)
    Color patterns in African cichlid fishes vary spectacularly. Although phylogenetic analysis showed already 30 years ago that many color patterns evolved repeatedly in these adaptive radiations, only recently have we begun to understand the genomic basis of color variation. Horizontal stripe patterns evolved and were lost several times independently across the adaptive radiations of LakeVictoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika and regulatory evolution of agouti-related peptide 2 (agrp2/asip2b) has been linked to this phenotypically labile trait. Here, we asked whether the agrp2 locus exhibits particular characteristics that facilitate divergence in color patterns. Based on comparative genomic analyses, we discovered several recent duplications, insertions, and deletions. Interestingly, one of these events resulted in a tandem duplication of the last exon of agrp2. The duplication likely precedes the EastAfrican radiations that started 8-12 Ma, is not fixed within any of the radiations, and is found to vary even within some species. Moreover, we also observed variation in copy number (two to five copies) and secondary loss of the duplication, illustrating a surprising dynamic at this locus that possibly promoted functional divergence of agrp2. Our work suggests that such instances of exon duplications are a neglected mechanism potentially involved in the repeated evolution and diversification that deserves more attention.
  • Bolotovskiy, Aleksey A.; Levina, Marina A.; DeFaveri, Jacquelin; Merila, Juha; Levin, Boris A. (2018)
    The three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus is an important model for studying microevolution and parallel adaptation to freshwater environments. Marine and freshwater forms differ markedly in their phenotype, especially in the number of lateral plates, which are serially repeated elements of the exoskeleton. In fishes, thyroid hormones are involved in adaptation to salinity, as well as the developmental regulation of serially repeated elements. To study how thyroid hormones influence lateral plate development, we manipulated levels of triiodothyronine and thiourea during early ontogeny in a marine and freshwater population with complete and low plate phenotypes, respectively. The development of lateral plates along the body and keel was heterochronic among experimental groups. Fish with a low dosage of exogenous triiodothyronine and those treated with thiourea exhibited retarded development of bony plates compared to both control fish and those treated with higher a triiodothyronine dosage. Several triiodothyronine-treated individuals of the marine form expressed the partial lateral plate phenotype. Some individuals with delayed development of lateral plates manifested 1-2 extra bony plates located above the main row of lateral plates.
  • Toivonen, Jaakko; Fromhage, Lutz (2020)
    We investigate competition between separate periodical cicada populations each possessing different life-cycle lengths. We build an individual-based model to simulate the cicada life cycle and allow random migrations to occur between patches inhabited by the different populations. We show that if hybridization between different cycle lengths produces offspring that have an intermediate life-cycle length, then predation acts disproportionately to select against the hybrid offspring. This happens because they emerge in low densities without the safety-in-numbers provided by either parent population. Thus, prime-numbered life cycles that can better avoid hybridization are favored. However, we find that this advantage of prime-numbered cycles occurs only if there is some mechanism that can occasionally synchronize emergence between local populations in sufficiently many patches.
  • Ronnegard, Lars; McFarlane, S. Eryn; Husby, Arild; Kawakami, Takeshi; Ellegren, Hans; Qvarnstrom, Anna (2016)
    1. Genomewide association studies (GWAS) enable detailed dissections of the genetic basis for organisms' ability to adapt to a changing environment. In long-term studies of natural populations, individuals are often marked at one point in their life and then repeatedly recaptured. It is therefore essential that a method for GWAS includes the process of repeated sampling. In a GWAS, the effects of thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) need to be fitted and any model development is constrained by the computational requirements. A method is therefore required that can fit a highly hierarchical model and at the same time is computationally fast enough to be useful. 2. Our method fits fixed SNP effects in a linear mixed model that can include both random polygenic effects and permanent environmental effects. In this way, the model can correct for population structure and model repeated measures. The covariance structure of the linear mixed model is first estimated and subsequently used in a generalized least squares setting to fit the SNP effects. The method was evaluated in a simulation study based on observed genotypes from a long-term study of collared flycatchers in Sweden. 3. The method we present here was successful in estimating permanent environmental effects from simulated repeated measures data. Additionally, we found that especially for variable phenotypes having large variation between years, the repeated measurements model has a substantial increase in power compared to a model using average phenotypes as a response. 4. The method is available in the R package RepeatABEL. It increases the power in GWAS having repeated measures, especially for long-term studies of natural populations, and the R implementation is expected to facilitate modelling of longitudinal data for studies of both animal and human populations.
  • Kess, Tony; Bentzen, Paul; Lehnert, Sarah J.; Sylvester, Emma V.A.; Lien, Sigbjørn; Kent, Matthew P.; Sinclair-Waters, Marion; Morris, Corey J.; Wringe, Brendan; Fairweather, Robert; Bradbury, Ian R. (2020)
    Genomic architecture and standing variation can play a key role in ecological adaptation and contribute to the predictability of evolution. In Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), four large chromosomal rearrangements have been associated with ecological gradients and migratory behavior in regional analyses. However, the degree of parallelism, the extent of independent inheritance, and functional distinctiveness of these rearrangements remain poorly understood. Here, we use a 12K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array to demonstrate extensive individual variation in rearrangement genotype within populations across the species range, suggesting that local adaptation to fine-scale ecological variation is enabled by rearrangements with independent inheritance. Our results demonstrate significant association of rearrangements with migration phenotype and environmental gradients across the species range. Individual rearrangements exhibit functional modularity, but also contain loci showing multiple environmental associations. Clustering in genetic distance trees and reduced differentiation within rearrangements across the species range are consistent with shared variation as a source of contemporary adaptive diversity in Atlantic cod. Conversely, we also find that haplotypes in the LG12 and LG1 rearranged region have diverged across the Atlantic, despite consistent environmental associations. Exchange of these structurally variable genomic regions, as well as local selective pressures, has likely facilitated individual diversity within Atlantic cod stocks. Our results highlight the importance of genomic architecture and standing variation in enabling fine-scale adaptation in marine species.
  • Sasic, Ljiljana; Acanski, Jelena; Vujic, Ante; Ståhls, Gunilla; Radenkovic, Snezana; Milic, Dubravka; Vidakovic, Dragana Obreht; Dan, Mihajla (2016)
    The Merodon aureus species group (Diptera: Syrphidae: Eristalinae) comprises a number of different sub-groups and species complexes. In this study we focus on resolving the taxonomic status of the entity previously identified as M. cinereus B, here identified as M. atratus species complex. We used an integrative approach based on morphological descriptions, combined with supporting characters that were obtained from molecular analyses of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene as well as from geometric morphometry of wing and surstylus shapes and environmental niche comparisons. All applied data and methods distinguished and supported three morphologically cryptic species: M. atratus stat. nov., M. virgatus sp. nov. and M. balkanicus sp. nov., which constitute the M. atratus species complex. We present an identification key for the sub-groups and species complexes of the M. aureus species group occurring in Europe, describe the taxa and discuss the utility of the applied methods for species delimitation. The estimated divergence times for the species splits of these taxa coincide with the Pleistocene Gunz-Mindel interglaciation and the Great interglaciation (between the Ris and Mindel glacial periods).
  • Dantas, Sidnei M.; Weckstein, Jason D.; Bates, John; Oliveira, Joiciane N.; Catanach, Therese A.; Aleixo, Alexandre Luis Padovan (2021)
    Megascops is the most species-rich owl genus in the New World, with 21 species currently recognized. Phylogenetic relationships within this genus are notoriously difficult to establish due to the considerable plumage similarity among species and polymorphism within species. Previous studies have suggested that the widespread lowland Amazonian M. watsonii might include more than one species, and that the Atlantic Forest endemic M. atricapilla is closely related to the M. watsonii complex, but these relationships are as yet poorly understood. A recently published phylogeny of Megascops demonstrated that M. watsonii is paraphyletic with respect to M. atricapilla and that genetic divergences among some populations of M. watsonii are equal to or surpass the degree of differentiation between some M. watsonii and M. atricapilla. To shed light on the taxonomic status of these species and populations within them, we conducted a multi-character study based on molecular, morphological, and vocal characters. We sequenced three mitochondrial (cytb, CO1 and ND2) and three nuclear genes (BF5, CHD and MUSK) for 49 specimens, covering most of the geographic ranges of M. watsonii and M. atricapilla, and used these sequences to estimate phylogenies under alternative Bayesian, Maximum Likelihood, and multilocus coalescent species tree approaches. We studied 252 specimens and vocal parameters from 83 recordings belonging to 65 individuals, distributed throughout the ranges of M. watsonii and M. atricapilla. We used Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA) to analyze both morphometric and vocal data, and a pairwise diagnostic test to evaluate the significance of vocal differences between distinct genetic lineages. Phylogenetic analyses consistently recovered six statistically well-supported clades whose relationships are not entirely in agreement with currently recognized species limits in M. watsonii and M. atricapilla. Morphometric analyses did not detect significant differences among clades. High plumage variation among individuals within clades was usually associated with the presence of two or more color morphs. By contrast, vocal analyses detected significant differentiation among some clades but considerable overlap among others, with some lineages (particularly the most widespread one) exhibiting significant regional variation. The combined results allow for a redefinition of species limits in both M. watsonii and M. atricapilla, with the recognition of four additional species, two of which we describe here as new. We estimated most cladogenesis in the Megascops atricapilla-M. watsonii complex as having taken place during the Plio-Pleistocene, with the development of the modern Amazonian and Sao Francisco drainages and the expansion and retraction of forest biomes during interglacial and glacial periods as likely events accounting for this relatively recent burst of diversification.
  • Gerwin, Jan; Urban, Sabine; Meyer, Axel; Kratochwil, Claudius F. (2021)
    Abstract Understanding the origins of phenotypic diversity among closely related species remains an important largely unsolved question in evolutionary biology. With over 800 species, Lake Malawi haplochromine cichlid fishes are a prominent example of extremely fast evolution of diversity including variation in coloration. Previously, a single major effect gene, agrp2 (asip2b), has been linked to evolutionary losses and gains of horizontal stripe patterns in cichlids, but it remains unknown what causes more fine-scale variation in the number and continuity of the stripes. Also, the genetic basis of the most common color pattern in African cichlids, vertical bars, and potential interactions between the two color patterns remain unknown. Based on a hybrid cross of the horizontally striped Lake Malawi cichlid Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos and the vertically barred species Chindongo demasoni we investigated the genetic basis of both color patterns. The distribution of phenotypes in the F2 generation of the cross indicates that horizontal stripes and vertical bars are independently inherited patterns that are caused by two sets of genetic modules. While horizontal stripes are largely controlled by few major effect loci, vertical bars are a highly polygenic trait. Horizontal stripes show substantial variation in the F2 generation that, interestingly, resemble naturally occurring phenotypes found in other Lake Malawi cichlid species. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping of this cross reveals known (agrp2) and unknown loci underlying horizontal stripe patterns. These findings provide novel insights into the incremental fine-tuning of an adaptive trait that diversified through the evolution of additional modifier loci.
  • Koblmüller, Stephan; Zangl, Lukas; Börger, Christine; Daill, Daniel; Vanhove, Maarten P. M.; Sturmbauer, Christian; Sefc, Kristina M. (2019)
    In the absence of dispersal barriers, species with great dispersal ability are expected to show little, if at all, phylogeographic structure. The East African Great Lakes and their diverse fish faunas provide opportunities to test this hypothesis in pelagic fishes, which are presumed to be highly mobile and unrestricted in their movement by physical barriers. Here, we address the link between panmixis and pelagic habitat use by comparing the phylogeographic structure among four deepwater cichlid species of the tribe Bathybatini from Lake Tanganyika. We show that the mitochondrial genealogies (based on the most variable part or the control region) of the four species are very shallow (0.8–4% intraspecific divergence across entire distribution ranges) and that all species experienced recent population growth. A lack of phylogeographic structure in the two eupelagic species, Bathybates fasciatus and B. leo, was consistent with expectations and with findings in other pelagic cichlid species. Contrary to expectations, a clear phylogeographic structure was detected in the two benthopelagic species, B. graueri and Hemibates stenosoma. Differences in genetic diversity between eupelagic and benthopelagic species may be due to differences in their dispersal propensity, mediated by their respective predatory niches, rather than precipitated by external barriers to dispersal.
  • Wang, Yingnan; Wang, Yu; Zhao, Yahui; Kravchenko, Alexandra Yu; Merilä, Juha; Guo, Baocheng (2022)
    Aim Understanding the phylogeography of a species complex can provide important insights into its evolutionary history. However, phylogeographic inference often faces the dilemma of regionally inadequate sampling. Pungitius sticklebacks are a case in point: although the highest species diversity is found in Northeast Asia, their phylogeography in this region is still poorly understood. Location Northeast Asia. Methods With the aid of whole-genome resequencing data, we investigated the phylogeography of Northeast Asian Pungitius sticklebacks, with newly sampled 83 worldwide Pungitius individuals from 11 locations including eight Chinese locations reported to host only P. sinensis. Results We discovered that three of the eight Chinese locations hosted populations of P. kaibarae and P. bussei, species new to the fauna of China. Phylogeographic analyses further clarified the sequence and timing of colonization of Northeast Asia by different Pungitius species, shedding new light on their origins and current distribution ranges. Colonization of inland Northeast Asia by Pungitius sticklebacks occurred in multiple waves, and the widespread P. sinensis expanded its range relatively late in the Pleistocene. Main conclusions This study complements our understanding of the phylogeography of Pungitius sticklebacks by extending sampling to cover an area that comprises nearly half of the known distribution area of this genus in Northeast Asia. The discovery of three Pungitus species from China is of particular interest, as translocations to support locally declining populations have occurred under the assumption that all sticklebacks in China-except the endangered P. stenurus-are P. sinensis, raising conservation concerns associated with unintentional translocations and possible admixture.
  • Cronemberger, Aurea A.; Aleixo, Alexandre; Mikkelsen, Else K.; Weir, Jason T. (2020)
    How species evolve reproductive isolation in the species-rich Amazon basin is poorly understood in vertebrates. Here, we sequenced a reference genome and used a genome-wide sample of SNPs to analyze a hybrid zone between two highly cryptic species ofHypocnemiswarbling-antbirds-the Rondonia warbling-antbird (H. ochrogyna) and Spix's warbling-antbird (H. striata)-in a headwater region of southern Amazonia. We found that both species commonly hybridize, producing F(1)s and a variety of backcrosses with each species but we detected only one F-2-like hybrid. Patterns of heterozygosity, hybrid index, and interchromosomal linkage disequilibrium in hybrid populations closely match expectations under strong postzygotic isolation. Hybrid zone width (15.4 km) was much narrower than expected (211 km) indicating strong selection against hybrids. A remarkably high degree of concordance in cline centers and widths across loci, and a lack of reduced interspecificF(st)between populations close to versus far from the contact zone, suggest that genetic incompatibilities have rendered most of the genome immune to introgression. These results support intrinsic postzygotic isolation as a driver of speciation in a moderately young cryptic species pair from the Amazon and suggest that species richness of the Amazon may be grossly underestimated.