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Genomic evidence for asymmetric introgression by sexual selection in the common wall lizard


Yang, W and While, GM and Laakkonen, H and Sacchi, R and Zuffi, MAL and Scali, S and Salvi, D and Uller, T, Genomic evidence for asymmetric introgression by sexual selection in the common wall lizard, Molecular Ecology, 27, (21) pp. 4213-4224. ISSN 0962-1083 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This is the peer reviewed version which has been published in final form at:

DOI: doi:10.1111/mec.14861


Strongly selected characters can be transferred from one lineage to another with limited genetic exchange, resulting in asymmetric introgression and a mosaic genome in the receiving population. However, systems are rarely sufficiently well studied to link the pattern of introgression to its underlying process. Male common wall lizards in western Italy exhibit exaggeration of a suite of sexually selected characters that make them outcompete males from a distantly related lineage that lack these characters. This results in asymmetric hybridization and adaptive introgression of the suite of characters following secondary contact. We developed genome-wide markers to infer the demographic history of gene flow between different genetic lineages, identify the spread of the sexually selected syndrome, and test the prediction that introgression should be asymmetric and heterogeneous across the genome. Our results show that secondary contact was accompanied by gene flow in both directions across most of the genome, but with approximately 3% of the genome showing highly asymmetric introgression in the predicted direction. Demographic simulations reveal that this asymmetric gene flow is more recent than the initial secondary contact, and the data suggest that the exaggerated male sexual characters originated within the Italian lineage and subsequently spread throughout this lineage before eventually reaching the contact zone. These results demonstrate that sexual selection can cause a suite of characters to spread throughout both closely and distantly related lineages with limited gene flow across the genome at large.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:asymmetric introgression, sexual selection, mosaic genome, Podarcis muralis
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Evolutionary biology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:While, GM (Dr Geoff While)
ID Code:128205
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2018-09-08
Last Modified:2020-06-24
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