skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: Quantitative Analyses of Coupling in Hybrid Zones
In hybrid zones, whether barrier loci experience selection mostly independently or as a unit depends on the ratio of selection to recombination as captured by the coupling coefficient. Theory predicts a sharper transition between an uncoupled and coupled system when more loci affect hybrid fitness. However, the extent of coupling in hybrid zones has rarely been quantified. Here, we use simulations to characterize the relationship between the coupling coefficient and variance in clines across genetic loci. We then re-analyze 25 hybrid zone data sets and find that cline variances and estimated coupling coefficients form a smooth continuum from high variance and weak coupling to low variance and strong coupling. Our results are consistent with low rates of hybridization and a strong genome-wide barrier to gene flow when the coupling coefficient is much greater than 1, but also suggest that this boundary might be approached gradually and at a near constant rate over time.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1754898 1928891 2012041
NSF-PAR ID:
10490567
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Volume:
15
Issue:
12
ISSN:
1943-0264
Page Range / eLocation ID:
a041434
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Hybridization and subsequent genetic introgression are now known to be common features of the histories of many species, including our own. Following hybridization, selection often purges introgressed DNA genome-wide. While assortative mating can limit hybridization in the first place, it is also known to play an important role in postzygotic selection against hybrids and, thus, the purging of introgressed DNA. However, this role is usually thought of as a direct one: a tendency for mates to be conspecific reduces the sexual fitness of hybrids, reducing the transmission of introgressed ancestry. Here, we explore a second, indirect role of assortative mating as a postzygotic barrier to gene flow. Under assortative mating, parents covary in their ancestry, causing ancestry to be “bundled” in their offspring and later generations. This bundling effect increases ancestry variance in the population, enhancing the efficiency with which postzygotic selection purges introgressed DNA. Using whole-genome simulations, we show that the bundling effect can comprise a substantial portion of mate choice’s overall effect as a postzygotic barrier to gene flow. We then derive a simple method for estimating the impact of the bundling effect from standard metrics of assortative mating. Applying this method to data from a diverse set of hybrid zones, we find that the bundling effect increases the purging of introgressed DNA by between 1.2-fold (in a baboon system with weak assortative mating) and 14-fold (in a swordtail system with strong assortative mating). Thus, assortative mating’s bundling effect contributes substantially to the genetic isolation of species. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    In ecological speciation, incipient species diverge due to natural selection that is ecologically based. In flowering plants, different pollinators could mediate that selection (pollinator-mediated divergent selection) or other features of the environment that differ between habitats of 2 species could do so (environment-mediated divergent selection). Although these mechanisms are well understood, they have received little rigorous testing, as few studies of divergent selection across sites of closely related species include both floral traits that influence pollination and vegetative traits that influence survival. This study employed common gardens in sites of the 2 parental species and a hybrid site, each containing advanced generation hybrids along with the parental species, to test these forms of ecological speciation in plants of the genus Ipomopsis. A total of 3 vegetative traits (specific leaf area, leaf trichomes, and photosynthetic water-use efficiency) and 5 floral traits (corolla length and width, anther insertion, petal color, and nectar production) were analyzed for impacts on fitness components (survival to flowering and seeds per flower, respectively). These traits exhibited strong clines across the elevational gradient in the hybrid zone, with narrower clines in theory reflecting stronger selection or higher genetic variance. Plants with long corollas and inserted anthers had higher seeds per flower at the Ipomopsis tenuituba site, whereas selection favored the reverse condition at the Ipomopsis aggregata site, a signature of divergent selection. In contrast, no divergent selection due to variation in survival was detected on any vegetative trait. Selection within the hybrid zone most closely resembled selection within the I. aggregata site. Across traits, the strength of divergent selection was not significantly correlated with width of the cline, which was better predicted by evolvability (standardized genetic variance). These results support the role of pollinator-­mediated divergent selection in ecological speciation and illustrate the importance of genetic variance in determining divergence across hybrid zones.

     
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Speciation is the result of an accumulation of reproductive barriers between populations, but pinpointing the factors involved is often difficult. However, hybrid zones can form when these barriers are not complete, especially when lineages come into contact in intermediate or modified habitats. We examine a hybrid zone between two closely related riverine turtle species,Sternotherus depressusandS. peltifer, and use dual‐digest RAD sequencing to understand how this hybrid zone formed and elucidate genomic patterns of reproductive isolation. First, the geographical extent and timing of formation of the hybrid zone is established to provide context for understanding the role of extrinsic and intrinsic reproductive isolating mechanisms in this system. The strength of selection on taxon‐specific contributions to maintenance of the hybrid zone is then inferred using a Bayesian genomic cline model. These analyses identify a role for selection inhibiting introgression in some genomic regions at one end of the hybrid zone and promoting introgression in many loci at the other. When selective pressures necessary to generate outliers to the genomic cline are considered with the geographical and temporal context of this hybrid zone, we conclude that habitat‐specific selection probably limits introgression fromS. depressustoS. peltiferin the direction of river flow. However, selection is mediating rapid, unidirectional introgression fromS. peltifertoS. depressus, which is probably facilitated by anthropogenic habitat alteration. These findings indicate a potentially imminent threat of population‐level genomic extinction for an already imperiled species due to ongoing human‐caused habitat alteration.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    As hybrid zones exhibit selective patterns of gene flow between otherwise distinct lineages, they can be especially valuable for informing processes of microevolution and speciation. The bumble bee,Bombus melanopygus, displays two distinct color forms generated by Müllerian mimicry: a northern “Rocky Mountain'’ color form with ferruginous mid‐abdominal segments (B.m.melanopygus) and a southern “Pacific'’ form with black mid‐abdominal segments (B.m.edwardsii). These morphs meet in a mimetic transition zone in northern California and southern Oregon that is more narrow and transitions further west than comimetic bumble bee species. To understand the historical formation of this mimicry zone, we assessed color distribution data forB.melanopygusfrom the last 100 years. We then examined gene flow among the color forms in the transition zone by comparing sequences from mitochondrial COI barcode sequences, color‐controlling loci, and the rest of the nuclear genome. These data support two geographically distinct mitochondrial haplogroups aligned to the ancestrally ferruginous and black forms that meet within the color transition zone. This clustering is also supported by the nuclear genome, which, while showing strong admixture across individuals, distinguishes individuals most by their mitochondrial haplotype, followed by geography. These data suggest the two lineages most likely were historically isolated, acquired fixed color differences, and then came into secondary contact with ongoing gene flow. The transition zone, however, exhibits asymmetries: mitochondrial haplotypes transition further south than color pattern, and both transition over shorter distances in the south. This system thus demonstrates alternative patterns of gene flow that occur in contact zones, presenting another example of mito‐nuclear discordance. Discordant gene flow is inferred to most likely be driven by a combination of mimetic selection, dominance effects, and assortative mating.

     
    more » « less
  5. Natural selection is an important driver of genetic and phenotypic differentiation between species. For species in which potential gene flow is high but realized gene flow is low, adaptation via natural selection may be a particularly important force maintaining species. For a recent radiation of New World desert shrubs (Encelia: Asteraceae), we use fine-scale geographic sampling and population genomics to determine patterns of gene flow across two hybrid zones formed between two independent pairs of species with parapatric distributions. After finding evidence for extremely strong selection at both hybrid zones, we use a combination of field experiments, high-resolution imaging, and physiological measurements to determine the ecological basis for selection at one of the hybrid zones. Our results identify multiple ecological mechanisms of selection (drought, salinity, herbivory, and burial) that together are sufficient to maintain species boundaries despite high rates of hybridization. Given that multiple pairs ofEnceliaspecies hybridize at ecologically divergent parapatric boundaries, such mechanisms may maintain species boundaries throughoutEncelia.

     
    more » « less