- Distortion of symmetrical introgression in a hybrid zone: evidence for locus-specific selection and uni-directional range expansion
- Journal of Evolutionary Biology
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 3
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
The fate of species integrity upon natural hybridization depends on the interaction between selection and dispersal. The relative significance of these processes may be studied in the initial phase of contact before selection and gene flow reach equilibrium. Here we study a hybrid zone of two salamander species, Lyciasalamandra antalyana and Lyciasalamandra billae, at the initial phase of hybridization. We quantify the degree and mode of introgression using nuclear and mtDNA markers. The hybrid zone can be characterized as an abrupt transition zone, the central hybrid zone being only c. 400 m, but introgressed genes were traced up to 3 km. Introgression was traced in both sexes but gene flow may be slightly male-biased. Indirect evidence suggests that hybrid males are less viable than females. Introgression occurred at two levels: (1) locus-specific selection led to different allelic introgression patterns independent of species, while (2) asymmetrical species-level introgression occurred predominately from L. antalyana to L. billae due to range expansion of the former. This indicates that foreign genes can be incorporated into novel genomic environments, which in turn may contribute to the great diversity of morphological variants in Lyciasalamandra.
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