skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Farleigh, Keaka"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Context

    Processes that shape genomic and ecological divergence can reveal important evolutionary dynamics to inform the conservation of threatened species.Fontaineais a genus of rainforest shrubs and small trees including critically endangered and threatened species restricted to narrow, but complex geographic and ecological regions. Several species ofFontaineaare subject to spatially explicit conditions and experience limited intra-specific gene flow, likely generating genetic differentiation and local adaptation.


    Here, we explored the genetic and ecological mechanisms underlying patterns of diversification in two, closely related threatenedFontaineaspecies. Our aim was to compare spatial patterns of genetic variation between the vulnerableFontainea australis(Southern Fontainea) and critically endangeredF. oraria(Coastal Fontainea), endemic to the heterogeneous subtropical region of central, eastern Australia, where large-scale clearing has severely reduced rainforest habitat to a fraction (< 1%) of its pre-European settlement extent.


    We used a set of 10,000 reduced-representation markers to infer genetic relationships and the drivers of spatial genetic variation across the two species. In addition, we employed a combination of univariate and multivariate genome-environment association analysis using a set of topo-climatic variables to explore potential patterns of local adaptation as a factor impacting genomic divergence.


    Our study revealed that Coastal Fontainea have a close genetic relationship with Southern Fontainea. We showed that isolation by distance has played a key role in their genetic variation, indicating that vicariance can explain the spatial genetic distribution of the two species. Genotype-environment analyses showed a strong association with temperature and topographic features, suggesting adaptation to localised thermal environments. We used a multivariate redundancy analysis to identify a range of putatively adapted loci associated with local environmental conditions.


    Divergent selection at the local-habitat scale as a result of dispersal limitations and environmental heterogeneity (including physical barriers) are likely contributors to adaptive divergence between the twoFontaineaspecies. Our findings have presented evidence to indicate that Southern and Coastal Fontainea were comprised of distinct genetic groups and ecotypes, that together may form a single species continuum, with further phenotype research suggested to confirm the current species boundaries. Proactive conservation actions, including assisted migration to enhance the resilience of populations lacking stress-tolerant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may be required to secure the long-term future of both taxa. This is especially vital for the critically endangered Coastal Fontainea given projections of habitat decline for the species under future climate scenarios.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The opposing forces of gene flow and isolation are two major processes shaping genetic diversity. Understanding how these vary across space and time is necessary to identify the environmental features that promote diversification. The detection of considerable geographic structure in taxa from the arid Nearctic has prompted research into the drivers of isolation in the region. Several geographic features have been proposed as barriers to gene flow, including the Colorado River, Western Continental Divide (WCD), and a hypothetical Mid-Peninsular Seaway in Baja California. However, recent studies suggest that the role of barriers in genetic differentiation may have been overestimated when compared to other mechanisms of divergence. In this study, we infer historical and spatial patterns of connectivity and isolation in Desert Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus magister) and Baja Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus zosteromus), which together form a species complex composed of parapatric lineages with wide distributions in arid western North America. Our analyses incorporate mitochondrial sequences, genomic-scale data, and past and present climatic data to evaluate the nature and strength of barriers to gene flow in the region. Our approach relies on estimates of migration under the multispecies coalescent to understand the history of lineage divergence in the face of gene flow. Results show that the S. magister complex is geographically structured, but we also detect instances of gene flow. The WCD is a strong barrier to gene flow, while the Colorado River is more permeable. Analyses yield conflicting results for the catalyst of differentiation of peninsular lineages in S. zosteromus. Our study shows how large-scale genomic data for thoroughly sampled species can shed new light on biogeography. Furthermore, our approach highlights the need for the combined analysis of multiple sources of evidence to adequately characterize the drivers of divergence.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Hybridization facilitates recombination between divergent genetic lineages and can be shaped by both neutral and selective processes. Upon hybridization, loci with no net fitness effects introgress randomly from parental species into the genomes of hybrid individuals. Conversely, alleles from one parental species at some loci may provide a selective advantage to hybrids, resulting in patterns of introgression that do not conform to random expectations. We investigated genomic patterns of differential introgression in natural hybrids of two species of Caribbean anoles,Anolis pulchellusandA. krugiin Puerto Rico. Hybrids exhibitA. pulchellusphenotypes but possessA. krugimitochondrial DNA, originated from multiple, independent hybridization events, and appear to have replaced pureA. pulchellusacross a large area in western Puerto Rico. Combining genome‐wide SNP datasets with bioinformatic methods to identify signals of differential introgression in hybrids, we demonstrate that the genomes of hybrids are dominated bypulchellus‐derived alleles and show only 10%–20%A. krugiancestry. The majority ofA. krugiloci in hybrids exhibit a signal of non‐random differential introgression and include loci linked to genes involved in development and immune function. Three of these genes (delta like canonical notch ligand 1, jagged1 and notch receptor 1) affect cell differentiation and growth and interact with mitochondrial function. Our results suggest that differential non‐random introgression for a subset of loci may be driven by selection favouring the inheritance of compatible mitochondrial and nuclear‐encoded genes in hybrids.

    more » « less
  4. Baldauf, Sandra (Ed.)
    Abstract The southwestern and central United States serve as an ideal region to test alternative hypotheses regarding biotic diversification. Genomic data can now be combined with sophisticated computational models to quantify the impacts of paleoclimate change, geographic features, and habitat heterogeneity on spatial patterns of genetic diversity. In this study, we combine thousands of genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) loci with mtDNA sequences (ND1) from the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) to quantify relative support for different catalysts of diversification. Phylogenetic and clustering analyses of the GBS data indicate support for at least three primary populations. The spatial distribution of populations appears concordant with habitat type, with desert populations in AZ and NM showing the largest genetic divergence from the remaining populations. The mtDNA data also support a divergent desert population, but other relationships differ and suggest mtDNA introgression. Genotype–environment association with bioclimatic variables supports divergence along precipitation gradients more than along temperature gradients. Demographic analyses support a complex history, with introgression and gene flow playing an important role during diversification. Bayesian multispecies coalescent analyses with introgression (MSci) analyses also suggest that gene flow occurred between populations. Paleo-species distribution models support two southern refugia that geographically correspond to contemporary lineages. We find that divergence times are underestimated and population sizes are overestimated when introgression occurred and is ignored in coalescent analyses, and furthermore, inference of ancient introgression events and demographic history is sensitive to inclusion of a single recently admixed sample. Our analyses cannot refute the riverine barrier or glacial refugia hypotheses. Results also suggest that populations are continuing to diverge along habitat gradients. Finally, the strong evidence of admixture, gene flow, and mtDNA introgression among populations suggests that P. cornutum should be considered a single widespread species under the General Lineage Species Concept. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
  6. Abstract Background

    The increasing number of chromosome-level genome assemblies has advanced our knowledge and understanding of macroevolutionary processes. Here, we introduce the genome of the desert horned lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos, an iguanid lizard occupying extreme desert conditions of the American southwest. We conduct analysis of the chromosomal structure and composition of this species and compare these features across genomes of 12 other reptiles (5 species of lizards, 3 snakes, 3 turtles, and 1 bird).


    The desert horned lizard genome was sequenced using Illumina paired-end reads and assembled and scaffolded using Dovetail Genomics Hi-C and Chicago long-range contact data. The resulting genome assembly has a total length of 1,901.85 Mb, scaffold N50 length of 273.213 Mb, and includes 5,294 scaffolds. The chromosome-level assembly is composed of 6 macrochromosomes and 11 microchromosomes. A total of 20,764 genes were annotated in the assembly. GC content and gene density are higher for microchromosomes than macrochromosomes, while repeat element distributions show the opposite trend. Pathway analyses provide preliminary evidence that microchromosome and macrochromosome gene content are functionally distinct. Synteny analysis indicates that large microchromosome blocks are conserved among closely related species, whereas macrochromosomes show evidence of frequent fusion and fission events among reptiles, even between closely related species.


    Our results demonstrate dynamic karyotypic evolution across Reptilia, with frequent inferred splits, fusions, and rearrangements that have resulted in shuffling of chromosomal blocks between macrochromosomes and microchromosomes. Our analyses also provide new evidence for distinct gene content and chromosomal structure between microchromosomes and macrochromosomes within reptiles.

    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    Species often experience spatial environmental heterogeneity across their range, and populations may exhibit signatures of adaptation to local environmental characteristics. Other population genetic processes, such as migration and genetic drift, can impede the effects of local adaptation. Genetic drift in particular can have a pronounced effect on population genetic structure during large‐scale geographic expansions, where a series of founder effects leads to decreases in genetic variation in the direction of the expansion. Here, we explore the genetic diversity of a desert lizard that occupies a wide range of environmental conditions and that has experienced post‐glacial expansion northwards along two colonization routes. Based on our analyses of a large SNP data set, we find evidence that both climate and demographic history have shaped the genetic structure of populations. Pronounced genetic differentiation was evident between populations occupying cold versus hot deserts, and we detected numerous loci with significant associations with climate. The genetic signal of founder effects, however, is still present in the genomes of the recently expanded populations, which comprise subsets of genetic variation found in the southern populations.

    more » « less