Sep 21, 2013

Genome-wide evidence for speciation with gene flow in Heliconius butterflies

Genome Research
Simon H MartinChris D Jiggins

Abstract

Most speciation events probably occur gradually, without complete and immediate reproductive isolation, but the full extent of gene flow between diverging species has rarely been characterized on a genome-wide scale. Documenting the extent and timing of admixture between diverging species can clarify the role of geographic isolation in speciation. Here we use new methodology to quantify admixture at different stages of divergence in Heliconius butterflies, based on whole-genome sequences of 31 individuals. Comparisons between sympatric and allopatric populations of H. melpomene, H. cydno, and H. timareta revealed a genome-wide trend of increased shared variation in sympatry, indicative of pervasive interspecific gene flow. Up to 40% of 100-kb genomic windows clustered by geography rather than by species, demonstrating that a very substantial fraction of the genome has been shared between sympatric species. Analyses of genetic variation shared over different time intervals suggested that admixture between these species has continued since early in speciation. Alleles shared between species during recent time intervals displayed higher levels of linkage disequilibrium than those shared over longer time intervals, suggesting that ...Continue Reading

  • References57
  • Citations267

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Genes, Insect
Genome
Dysequilibrium Syndrome
Sex Chromosomes
Z Chromosome
Phylogeny
Genomics
Genome, Insect
Heliconius melpomene
Heliconius timareta

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