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Creators/Authors contains: "Spellman, Garth M."

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  1. Abstract

    We explored the evolutionary radiation in the House Wren complex (Troglodytes aedon and allies), the New World’s most widely distributed passerine species. The complex has been the source of ongoing taxonomic debate. To evaluate phenotypic variation in the House Wren complex, we collected 81,182 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from restriction site associated loci (RADseq) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from samples representing the taxonomic and geographic diversity of the complex. Both datasets reveal deep phylogeographic structuring, with several topological discrepancies. The trees highlight the evolutionary distinctiveness of eastern and western T. aedon, which were sister taxa in the SNP tree and paraphyletic on the mtDNA tree. The RADseq data reveal a distinct T. a. brunneicollis group, although STRUCTURE plots suggest admixture between western T. aedon and northern Mexican samples of T. a. brunneicollis. MtDNA data show a paraphyletic arrangement of T. a. musculus on the tree, whereas the SNP tree portrays them as monophyletic. Island taxa are distinct in both datasets, including T. a. beani (Isla Cozumel), which appears derived from T. a. musculus in eastern Mexico, and T. sissonii (Isla Socorro) and T. tanneri (Isla Clarión) although the 2 datasets disagree on their overall phylogenetic placement. Although we had onlymore »mtDNA data for T. a. martinicensis from the Lesser Antilles, we found at least 4 distinct and paraphyletic taxa from Trinidad, Granada, St. Vincent islands, and Dominica. The House Wren complex showed strong differentiation in mtDNA and RADseq datasets, with conflicting patterns likely arising from some combination of sex-biased dispersal, incomplete lineage sorting, or selection on mtDNA. The most glaring discrepancies between these 2 datasets, such as the paraphyly of eastern and western North American House Wrens in the mtDNA tree, present excellent opportunities for follow-up studies on evolutionary mechanisms that underpin phylogeographic patterns.

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  2. Springer, Mark (Ed.)
    Abstract Despite the increasing feasibility of sequencing whole genomes from diverse taxa, a persistent problem in phylogenomics is the selection of appropriate genetic markers or loci for a given taxonomic group or research question. In this review, we aim to streamline the decision-making process when selecting specific markers to use in phylogenomic studies by introducing commonly used types of genomic markers, their evolutionary characteristics, and their associated uses in phylogenomics. Specifically, we review the utilities of ultraconserved elements (including flanking regions), anchored hybrid enrichment loci, conserved nonexonic elements, untranslated regions, introns, exons, mitochondrial DNA, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and anonymous regions (nonspecific regions that are evenly or randomly distributed across the genome). These various genomic elements and regions differ in their substitution rates, likelihood of neutrality or of being strongly linked to loci under selection, and mode of inheritance, each of which are important considerations in phylogenomic reconstruction. These features may give each type of marker important advantages and disadvantages depending on the biological question, number of taxa sampled, evolutionary timescale, cost effectiveness, and analytical methods used. We provide a concise outline as a resource to efficiently consider key aspects of each type of genetic marker. There are many factors tomore »consider when designing phylogenomic studies, and this review may serve as a primer when weighing options between multiple potential phylogenomic markers.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Phylogeographic studies can uncover robust details about the population structure, demographics, and diversity of species. The smooth greensnake, Opheodrys vernalis, is a small, cryptic snake occupying mesic grassland and sparsely wooded habitats. Although O. vernalis has a wide geographical range, many metapopulations are patchy and some are declining. We used mitochondrial DNA and double digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing to construct the first phylogeographic assessment of O. vernalis. Genomic analysis of 119 individuals (mitochondrial DNA) and a subset of another 45 smooth greensnakes (nuclear DNA; N = 3031 single nucleotide polymorphisms) strongly supports two longitudinally separated lineages, with admixture in the Great Lakes region. Post-Pleistocene secondary contact best explains admixture from populations advancing northwards. Overall, populations expressed low heterozygosity, variable inbreeding rates, and moderate to high differentiation. Disjunct populations in the Rocky Mountains and central Great Plains regions might be contracting relicts, whereas northerly populations in more continuous mesic habitats (e.g., Prairie Pothole region, southern Canada) had signals of population expansion. Broadly, conservation management efforts should be focused on local populations, because habitat connectivity may facilitate gene flow and genetic diversity.

  4. 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