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  1. Malik, Harmit S. (Ed.)
    Centromeres are essential mediators of chromosomal segregation, but both centromeric DNA sequences and associated kinetochore proteins are paradoxically diverse across species. The selfish centromere model explains rapid evolution by both components via an arms-race scenario: centromeric DNA variants drive by distorting chromosomal transmission in female meiosis and attendant fitness costs select on interacting proteins to restore Mendelian inheritance. Although it is clear than centromeres can drive and that drive often carries costs, female meiotic drive has not been directly linked to selection on kinetochore proteins in any natural system. Here, we test the selfish model of centromere evolution in amore »yellow monkeyflower ( Mimulus guttatus ) population polymorphic for a costly driving centromere ( D ). We show that the D haplotype is structurally and genetically distinct and swept to a high stable frequency within the past 1500 years. We use quantitative genetic mapping to demonstrate that context-dependence in the strength of drive (from near-100% D transmission in interspecific hybrids to near-Mendelian in within-population crosses) primarily reflects variable vulnerability of the non-driving competitor chromosomes, but also map an unlinked modifier of drive coincident with kinetochore protein Centromere-specific Histone 3 A (CenH3A). Finally, CenH3A exhibits a recent (<1000 years) selective sweep in our focal population, implicating local interactions with D in ongoing adaptive evolution of this kinetochore protein. Together, our results demonstrate an active co-evolutionary arms race between DNA and protein components of the meiotic machinery in Mimulus , with important consequences for individual fitness and molecular divergence.« less
  2. Buerkle, Alex (Ed.)
    Inferences about past processes of adaptation and speciation require a gene-scale and genome-wide understanding of the evolutionary history of diverging taxa. In this study, we use genome-wide capture of nuclear gene sequences, plus skimming of organellar sequences, to investigate the phylogenomics of monkeyflowers in Mimulus section Erythranthe (27 accessions from seven species ) . Taxa within Erythranthe , particularly the parapatric and putatively sister species M . lewisii (bee-pollinated) and M . cardinalis (hummingbird-pollinated), have been a model system for investigating the ecological genetics of speciation and adaptation for over five decades. Across >8000 nuclear loci, multiple methods resolve amore »predominant species tree in which M . cardinalis groups with other hummingbird-pollinated taxa (37% of gene trees), rather than being sister to M . lewisii (32% of gene trees). We independently corroborate a single evolution of hummingbird pollination syndrome in Erythranthe by demonstrating functional redundancy in genetic complementation tests of floral traits in hybrids; together, these analyses overturn a textbook case of pollination-syndrome convergence. Strong asymmetries in allele sharing (Patterson’s D-statistic and related tests) indicate that gene tree discordance reflects ancient and recent introgression rather than incomplete lineage sorting. Consistent with abundant introgression blurring the history of divergence, low-recombination and adaptation-associated regions support the new species tree, while high-recombination regions generate phylogenetic evidence for sister status for M . lewisii and M . cardinalis . Population-level sampling of core taxa also revealed two instances of chloroplast capture, with Sierran M . lewisii and Southern Californian M . parishii each carrying organelle genomes nested within respective sympatric M . cardinalis clades. A recent organellar transfer from M . cardinalis , an outcrosser where selfish cytonuclear dynamics are more likely, may account for the unexpected cytoplasmic male sterility effects of selfer M . parishii organelles in hybrids with M . lewisii . Overall, our phylogenomic results reveal extensive reticulation throughout the evolutionary history of a classic monkeyflower radiation, suggesting that natural selection (re-)assembles and maintains species-diagnostic traits and barriers in the face of gene flow. Our findings further underline the challenges, even in reproductively isolated species, in distinguishing re-use of adaptive alleles from true convergence and emphasize the value of a phylogenomic framework for reconstructing the evolutionary genetics of adaptation and speciation.« less
  3. Koepfli, Klaus-Peter (Ed.)
    Abstract A current challenge in the fields of evolutionary, ecological, and conservation genomics is balancing production of large-scale datasets with additional training often required to handle such datasets. Thus, there is an increasing need for conservation geneticists to continually learn and train to stay up-to-date through avenues such as symposia, meetings, and workshops. The ConGen meeting is a near-annual workshop that strives to guide participants in understanding population genetics principles, study design, data processing, analysis, interpretation, and applications to real-world conservation issues. Each year of ConGen gathers a diverse set of instructors, students, and resulting lectures, hands-on sessions, and discussions.more »Here, we summarize key lessons learned from the 2019 meeting and more recent updates to the field with a focus on big data in conservation genomics. First, we highlight classical and contemporary issues in study design that are especially relevant to working with big datasets, including the intricacies of data filtering. We next emphasize the importance of building analytical skills and simulating data, and how these skills have applications within and outside of conservation genetics careers. We also highlight recent technological advances and novel applications to conservation of wild populations. Finally, we provide data and recommendations to support ongoing efforts by ConGen organizers and instructors—and beyond—to increase participation of underrepresented minorities in conservation and eco-evolutionary sciences. The future success of conservation genetics requires both continual training in handling big data and a diverse group of people and approaches to tackle key issues, including the global biodiversity-loss crisis.« less