skip to main content

Title: Selection and isolation define a heterogeneous divergence landscape between hybridizing Heliconius butterflies
Hybridizing species provide a powerful system to identify the processes that shape genomic variation and maintain species boundaries. However, complex histories of isolation, gene flow, and selection often generate heterogeneous genomic landscapes of divergence that complicate reconstruction of the speciation history. Here, we explore patterns of divergence to reconstruct recent speciation in the erato clade of Heliconius butterflies. We focus on the genomic landscape of divergence across three contact zones of the species H. erato and H. himera. We show that these hybridizing species have an intermediate level of divergence in the erato clade, which fits with their incomplete levels of reproductive isolation. Using demographic modeling and the relationship between admixture and divergence with recombination rate variation, we reconstruct histories of gene flow, selection, and demographic change that explain the observed patterns of genomic divergence. We find that periods of isolation and selection within populations, followed by secondary contact with asymmetrical gene flow are key factors in shaping the heterogeneous genomic landscapes. Collectively, these results highlight the effectiveness of demographic modeling and recombination rate estimates to disentangling the distinct contributions of gene flow and selection to patterns of genomic divergence.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Editors:
Streisfeld, M.; McAdam, A.
Award ID(s):
1736026
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10276012
Journal Name:
Evolution
ISSN:
0014-3820
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Sethuraman, Arun (Ed.)
    Abstract Recently diverged taxa often exhibit heterogeneous landscapes of genomic differentiation, characterized by regions of elevated differentiation on an otherwise homogeneous background. While divergence peaks are generally interpreted as regions responsible for reproductive isolation, they can also arise due to background selection, selective sweeps unrelated to speciation, and variation in recombination and mutation rates. To investigate the association between patterns of recombination and landscapes of genomic differentiation during the early stages of speciation, we generated fine-scale recombination maps for six southern capuchino seedeaters (Sporophila) and two subspecies of White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), two recent avian radiations in which divergent selection on pigmentation genes has likely generated peaks of differentiation. We compared these recombination maps to those of Collared (Ficedula albicollis) and Pied Flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca), non-sister taxa characterized by moderate genomic divergence and a heterogenous landscape of genomic differentiation shaped in part by background selection. Although recombination landscapes were conserved within all three systems, we documented a weaker negative correlation between recombination rate and genomic differentiation in the recent radiations. All divergence peaks between capuchinos, wagtails, and flycatchers were located in regions with lower-than-average recombination rates, and most divergence peaks in capuchinos and flycatchers fell in regions of exceptionally reducedmore »recombination. Thus, co-adapted allelic combinations in these regions may have been protected early in divergence, facilitating rapid diversification. Despite largely conserved recombination landscapes, divergence peaks are specific to each focal comparison in capuchinos, suggesting that regions of elevated differentiation have not been generated by variation in recombination rate alone.« less
  2. Abstract

    The study of recently diverged lineages whose geographical ranges come into contact can provide insight into the early stages of speciation and the potential roles of reproductive isolation in generating and maintaining species. Such insight can also be important for understanding the strategies and challenges for delimiting species within recently diverged species complexes. Here, we use mitochondrial and nuclear genetic data to study population structure, gene flow and demographic history across a geographically widespread rattlesnake clade, the western rattlesnake species complex (Crotalus cerberus, Crotalus viridis, Crotalus oreganus and relatives), which contains multiple lineages with ranges that overlap geographically or contact one another. We find evidence that the evolutionary history of this group does not conform to a bifurcating tree model and that pervasive gene flow has broadly influenced patterns of present-day genetic diversity. Our results suggest that lineage diversity has been shaped largely by drift and divergent selection in isolation, followed by secondary contact, in which reproductive isolating mechanisms appear weak and insufficient to prevent introgression, even between anciently diverged lineages. The complexity of divergence and secondary contact with gene flow among lineages also provides new context for why delimiting species within this complex has been difficult and contentiousmore »historically.

    « less
  3. Smith, Stephen (Ed.)
    Abstract Understanding how gene flow affects population divergence and speciation remains challenging. Differentiating one evolutionary process from another can be difficult because multiple processes can produce similar patterns, and more than one process can occur simultaneously. Although simple population models produce predictable results, how these processes balance in taxa with patchy distributions and complicated natural histories is less certain. These types of populations might be highly connected through migration (gene flow), but can experience stronger effects of genetic drift and inbreeding, or localized selection. Although different signals can be difficult to separate, the application of high-throughput sequence data can provide the resolution necessary to distinguish many of these processes. We present whole-genome sequence data for an avian species group with an alpine and arctic tundra distribution to examine the role that different population genetic processes have played in their evolutionary history. Rosy-finches inhabit high elevation mountaintop sky islands and high-latitude island and continental tundra. They exhibit extensive plumage variation coupled with low levels of genetic variation. Additionally, the number of species within the complex is debated, making them excellent for studying the forces involved in the process of diversification, as well as an important species group in which to investigatemore »species boundaries. Total genomic variation suggests a broadly continuous pattern of allele frequency changes across the mainland taxa of this group in North America. However, phylogenomic analyses recover multiple distinct, well supported, groups that coincide with previously described morphological variation and current species-level taxonomy. Tests of introgression using D-statistics and approximate Bayesian computation reveal significant levels of introgression between multiple North American taxa. These results provide insight into the balance between divergent and homogenizing population genetic processes and highlight remaining challenges in interpreting conflict between different types of analytical approaches with whole-genome sequence data. [ABBA-BABA; approximate Bayesian computation; gene flow; phylogenomics; speciation; whole-genome sequencing.]« less
  4. Abstract Current phylogenomic approaches implicitly assume that the predominant phylogenetic signal within a genome reflects the true evolutionary history of organisms, without assessing the confounding effects of postspeciation gene flow that can produce a mosaic of phylogenetic signals that interact with recombinational variation. Here, we tested the validity of this assumption with a phylogenomic analysis of 27 species of the cat family, assessing local effects of recombination rate on species tree inference and divergence time estimation across their genomes. We found that the prevailing phylogenetic signal within the autosomes is not always representative of the most probable speciation history, due to ancient hybridization throughout felid evolution. Instead, phylogenetic signal was concentrated within regions of low recombination, and notably enriched within large X chromosome recombination cold spots that exhibited recurrent patterns of strong genetic differentiation and selective sweeps across mammalian orders. By contrast, regions of high recombination were enriched for signatures of ancient gene flow, and these sequences inflated crown-lineage divergence times by ∼40%. We conclude that existing phylogenomic approaches to infer the Tree of Life may be highly misleading without considering the genomic architecture of phylogenetic signal relative to recombination rate and its interplay with historical hybridization.
  5. By shaping meiotic recombination, chromosomal inversions can influence genetic exchange between hybridizing species. Despite the recognized importance of inversions in evolutionary processes such as divergence and speciation, teasing apart the effects of inversions over time remains challenging. For example, are their effects on sequence divergence primarily generated through creating blocks of linkage-disequilibrium pre-speciation or through preventing gene flux after speciation? We provide a comprehensive look into the influence of inversions on gene flow throughout the evolutionary history of a classic system: Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis. We use extensive whole-genome sequence data to report patterns of introgression and divergence with respect to chromosomal arrangements. Overall, we find evidence that inversions have contributed to divergence patterns between Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis over three distinct timescales: 1) segregation of ancestral polymorphism early in the speciation process, 2) gene flow after the split of D. pseudoobscura and D. persimilis, but prior to the split of D. pseudoobscura subspecies, and 3) recent gene flow between sympatric D. pseudoobscura and D. persimilis, after the split of D. pseudoobscura subspecies. We discuss these results in terms of our understanding of evolution in this classic system and provide cautions for interpreting divergence measures in other systems.