DOI: 10.1101/491654Dec 10, 2018Paper

Cryptic and extensive hybridization between ancient lineages of American crows

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
David L. SlagerJohn Klicka

Abstract

Most species and therefore most hybrid zones have historically been described using phenotypic characters. However, both speciation and hybridization can occur with negligible morphological differentiation. The Northwestern Crow ( Corvus caurinus ) and American Crow ( Corvus brachyrhynchos ) are sister taxonomic species with a continuous distribution that lack reliable traditional characters for identification. In this first population genomic study of Northwestern and American crows, we use genomic SNPs (nuDNA) and mtDNA to investigate whether these crows are genetically differentiated and the extent to which they may hybridize. We found that American and Northwestern crows have distinct evolutionary histories, supported by two nuDNA ancestry clusters and two 1.1%-divergent mtDNA clades dating to the late Pleistocene, when glacial advances may have isolated crow populations in separate refugia. We document extensive hybridization, with geographic overlap of mtDNA clades and admixture of nuDNA across >1,400 km of western Washington and western British Columbia. This broad hybrid zone consists of late-generation hybrids and backcrosses, not recent (e.g., F1) hybrids. Nuclear DNA and mtDNA clines were both centered in southwester...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Cell Differentiation Process
Cell Growth
DNA, Mitochondrial
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Gene Clusters
Genome
DNA Hybridization
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Population Study (Research Activity)
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