Baer, Charles (Ed.)
Abstract Theories predict that directional selection during adaptation to a novel habitat results in elevated meiotic recombination rate. Yet the lack of population-level recombination rate data leaves this hypothesis untested in natural populations. Here, we examine the population-level recombination rate variation in two incipient ecological species, the microcrustacean Daphnia pulex (an ephemeral-pond species) and Daphnia pulicaria (a permanent-lake species). The divergence of D. pulicaria from D. pulex involved habitat shifts from pond to lake habitats as well as strong local adaptation due to directional selection. Using a novel single-sperm genotyping approach, we estimated the male-specific recombination rate of two linkage groups in multiple populations of each species in common garden experiments and identified a significantly elevated recombination rate in D. pulicaria. Most importantly, population genetic analyses show that the divergence in recombination rate between these two species is most likely due to divergent selection in distinct ecological habitats rather than neutral evolution.