Population genomics of parallel hybrid zones in the mimetic butterflies, H. melpomene and H. erato

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Nicola NadeauRiccardo Papa


Hybrid zones can be valuable tools for studying evolution and identifying genomic regions responsible for adaptive divergence and underlying phenotypic variation. Hybrid zones between subspecies of Heliconius butterflies can be very narrow and are maintained by strong selection acting on colour pattern. The co-mimetic species H. erato and H. melpomene have parallel hybrid zones where both species undergo a change from one colour pattern form to another. We use restriction associated DNA sequencing to obtain several thousand genome wide sequence markers and use these to analyse patterns of population divergence across two pairs of parallel hybrid zones in Peru and Ecuador. We compare two approaches for analysis of this type of data; alignment to a reference genome and de novo assembly, and find that alignment gives the best results for species both closely ( H. melpomene ) and distantly ( H. erato , ∼15% divergent) related to the reference sequence. Our results confirm that the colour pattern controlling loci account for the majority of divergent regions across the genome, but we also detect other divergent regions apparently unlinked to colour pattern differences. We also use association mapping to identify previously unmapped ...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Biological Markers
Biological Evolution
Genetic Loci
Molecular Assembly/Self Assembly
Sequence Determinations, DNA

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