Stable species boundaries despite ten million years of hybridization in tropical eels

Barth, Julia M. I. and Gubili, Chrysoula and Matschiner, Michael and Tørresen, Ole K. and Watanabe, Shun and Egger, Bernd and Han, Yu-San and Feunteun, Eric and Sommaruga, Ruben and Jehle, Robert and Schabetsberger, Robert. (2020) Stable species boundaries despite ten million years of hybridization in tropical eels. Nature Communications, 11 (1). p. 1433.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/81419/

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Genomic evidence is increasingly underpinning that hybridization between taxa is commonplace, challenging our views on the mechanisms that maintain their boundaries. Here, we focus on seven catadromous eel species (genus Anguilla) and use genome-wide sequence data from more than 450 individuals sampled across the tropical Indo-Pacific, morphological information, and three newly assembled draft genomes to compare contemporary patterns of hybridization with signatures of past introgression across a time-calibrated phylogeny. We show that the seven species have remained distinct for up to 10 million years and find that the current frequencies of hybridization across species pairs contrast with genomic signatures of past introgression. Based on near-complete asymmetry in the directionality of hybridization and decreasing frequencies of later-generation hybrids, we suggest cytonuclear incompatibilities, hybrid breakdown, and purifying selection as mechanisms that can support species cohesion even when hybridization has been pervasive throughout the evolutionary history of clades.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Salzburger)
UniBasel Contributors:Barth, Julia Maria Isis and Egger, Bernd
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:01 Feb 2021 08:32
Deposited On:31 Jan 2021 17:20

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