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Pleistocene divergence in the absence of gene flow among populations of a viviparous reptile with intraspecific variation in sex determination


Hill, P and Wapstra, E and Ezaz, T and Burridge, CP, Pleistocene divergence in the absence of gene flow among populations of a viviparous reptile with intraspecific variation in sex determination, Ecology and Evolution pp. 1-9. ISSN 2045-7758 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2021 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1002/ece3.7458


Polymorphisms can lead to genetic isolation if there is differential mating success among conspecifics divergent for a trait. Polymorphism for sex‐determining system may fall into this category, given strong selection for the production of viable males and females and the low success of heterogametic hybrids when sex chromosomes differ (Haldane's rule). Here we investigated whether populations exhibiting polymorphism for sex determination are genetically isolated, using the viviparous snow skink Carinascincus ocellatus. While a comparatively high elevation population has genotypic sex determination, in a lower elevation population there is an additional temperature component to sex determination. Based on 11,107 SNP markers, these populations appear genetically isolated. "Isolation with Migration" analysis also suggests these populations diverged in the absence of gene flow, across a period encompassing multiple Pleistocene glaciations and likely greater geographic proximity of populations. However, further experiments are required to establish whether genetic isolation may be a cause or consequence of differences in sex determination. Given the influence of temperature on sex in one lineage, we also discuss the implications for the persistence of this polymorphism under climate change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:genetic sex determination, GSD, Niveoscincus, sex chromosome, temperature-dependent sex determination, TSD
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Evolutionary ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Hill, P (Ms Peta Hill)
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Professor Erik Wapstra)
UTAS Author:Burridge, CP (Associate Professor Christopher Burridge)
ID Code:143751
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2021-03-31
Last Modified:2022-08-29
Downloads:9 View Download Statistics

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