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Title: Comparative Transcriptomics Provides Insights into Reticulate and Adaptive Evolution of a Butterfly Radiation
Abstract Butterfly eyes are complex organs that are composed of a diversity of proteins and they play a central role in visual signaling and ultimately, speciation, and adaptation. Here, we utilized the whole eye transcriptome to obtain a more holistic view of the evolution of the butterfly eye while accounting for speciation events that co-occur with ancient hybridization. We sequenced and assembled transcriptomes from adult female eyes of eight species representing all major clades of the Heliconius genus and an additional outgroup species, Dryas iulia. We identified 4,042 orthologous genes shared across all transcriptome data sets and constructed a transcriptome-wide phylogeny, which revealed topological discordance with the mitochondrial phylogenetic tree in the Heliconius pupal mating clade. We then estimated introgression among lineages using additional genome data and found evidence for ancient hybridization leading to the common ancestor of Heliconius hortense and Heliconius clysonymus. We estimated the Ka/Ks ratio for each orthologous cluster and performed further tests to demonstrate genes showing evidence of adaptive protein evolution. Furthermore, we characterized patterns of expression for a subset of these positively selected orthologs using qRT-PCR. Taken together, we identified candidate eye genes that show signatures of adaptive molecular evolution and provide evidence of their more » expression divergence between species, tissues, and sexes. Our results demonstrate: 1) greater evolutionary changes in younger Heliconius lineages, that is, more positively selected genes in the cydno–melpomene–hecale group as opposed to the sara–hortense–erato group, and 2) suggest an ancient hybridization leading to speciation among Heliconius pupal-mating species. « less
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Genome Biology and Evolution
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2963 to 2975
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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