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Sex-specific clines support incipient speciation in a common European mammal


Sutter, Andreas; Beysard, Mathias; Heckel, Gerald (2013). Sex-specific clines support incipient speciation in a common European mammal. Heredity, 110(4):398-404.

Abstract

Hybrid zones provide excellent opportunities to study processes and mechanisms underlying reproductive isolation and speciation. Here we investigated sex-specific clines of molecular markers in hybrid zones of morphologically cryptic yet genetically highly-diverged evolutionary lineages of the European common vole (Microtus arvalis). We analyzed the position and width of four secondary contact zones along three independent transects in the region of the Alps using maternally (mitochondrial DNA) and paternally (Y-chromosome) inherited genetic markers. Given male-biased dispersal in the common vole, a selectively neutral secondary contact would show broader paternal marker clines than maternal ones. In a selective case, for example, involving a form of Haldane’s rule, Y-chromosomal clines would not be expected to be broader than maternal markers because they are transmitted by the heterogametic sex and thus gene flow would be restricted. Consistent with the selective case, paternal clines were significantly narrower or at most equal in width to maternal clines in all contact zones. In addition, analyses using maximum likelihood cline-fitting detected a shift of paternal relative to maternal clines in three of four contact zones. These patterns suggest that processes at the contact zones in the common vole are not selectively neutral, and that partial reproductive isolation is already established between these evolutionary lineages. We conclude that hybrid zone movement, sexual selection and/or genetic incompatibilities are likely associated with an unusual unidirectional manifestation of Haldane’s rule in this common European mammal.

Abstract

Hybrid zones provide excellent opportunities to study processes and mechanisms underlying reproductive isolation and speciation. Here we investigated sex-specific clines of molecular markers in hybrid zones of morphologically cryptic yet genetically highly-diverged evolutionary lineages of the European common vole (Microtus arvalis). We analyzed the position and width of four secondary contact zones along three independent transects in the region of the Alps using maternally (mitochondrial DNA) and paternally (Y-chromosome) inherited genetic markers. Given male-biased dispersal in the common vole, a selectively neutral secondary contact would show broader paternal marker clines than maternal ones. In a selective case, for example, involving a form of Haldane’s rule, Y-chromosomal clines would not be expected to be broader than maternal markers because they are transmitted by the heterogametic sex and thus gene flow would be restricted. Consistent with the selective case, paternal clines were significantly narrower or at most equal in width to maternal clines in all contact zones. In addition, analyses using maximum likelihood cline-fitting detected a shift of paternal relative to maternal clines in three of four contact zones. These patterns suggest that processes at the contact zones in the common vole are not selectively neutral, and that partial reproductive isolation is already established between these evolutionary lineages. We conclude that hybrid zone movement, sexual selection and/or genetic incompatibilities are likely associated with an unusual unidirectional manifestation of Haldane’s rule in this common European mammal.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:cline analyses; Microtus arvalis; secondary contact zone; Haldane’s rule; Y-chromosome; speciation
Language:English
Date:23 January 2013
Deposited On:16 Dec 2013 10:22
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:43
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0018-067X
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation, Berne University Research Foundation
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2012.124
Official URL:http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v110/n4/full/hdy2012124a.html

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