ResearchPad - gene-flow https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Polyploidy breaks speciation barriers in Australian burrowing frogs <i>Neobatrachus</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16332 Polyploidy or whole genome duplication is rare in animals and usually polyploid animals reproduce asexually. The Australian burrowing frogs of the genus Neobatrachus form an interesting exception amongst vertebrates with multiple independently originated autotetraploid sexual species. We generated population genomic data from 87 animals representing all six diploid and three tetraploid species of Neobatrachus. We show that, while diploid Neobatrachus species seem to be isolated from each other, their sister tetraploid species experience substantial levels of gene flow, and have wider distributions. Furthermore, we observe asymmetric gene flow from diploids to tetraploids. Based on our genomic and climate analyses we suggest that such inter-specific hybridization mediated by whole genome duplication rescues species diversity and allows tetraploids to more easily avoid impacts of climate-induced habitat loss.

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<![CDATA[Fine-scale population genetic structure of dengue mosquito vector, <i>Aedes aegypti</i>, in Metropolitan Manila, Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14656 Aedes aegypti is an efficient vector of dengue due to its highly adaptive nature to the urban environment. Although it is observed to have a short dispersal (active) capability, it has been shown to be capable of traveling long distances (passive) via human-mediated transportation. This duality may expand the distribution of the mosquito vector in urbanized areas. In this study, we examined the population genetic structure of Ae. aegypti in a highly urbanized and dengue-endemic region of the Philippines, Metropolitan Manila. Our findings indicated the dual dispersal nature of Ae. aegypti. The use of microsatellites as genetic markers also allowed us to describe the potential long-distance dispersal patterns, possibly through human-aided land transportation via the existing road networks of Metropolitan Manila.

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<![CDATA[Genetic dissection of assortative mating behavior]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dcb4d5eed0c484dec08b

The evolution of new species is made easier when traits under divergent ecological selection are also mating cues. Such ecological mating cues are now considered more common than previously thought, but we still know little about the genetic changes underlying their evolution or more generally about the genetic basis for assortative mating behaviors. Both tight physical linkage and the existence of large-effect preference loci will strengthen genetic associations between behavioral and ecological barriers, promoting the evolution of assortative mating. The warning patterns of Heliconius melpomene and H. cydno are under disruptive selection due to increased predation of nonmimetic hybrids and are used during mate recognition. We carried out a genome-wide quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of preference behaviors between these species and showed that divergent male preference has a simple genetic basis. We identify three QTLs that together explain a large proportion (approximately 60%) of the difference in preference behavior observed between the parental species. One of these QTLs is just 1.2 (0–4.8) centiMorgans (cM) from the major color pattern gene optix, and, individually, all three have a large effect on the preference phenotype. Genomic divergence between H. cydno and H. melpomene is high but broadly heterogenous, and admixture is reduced at the preference–optix color pattern locus but not the other preference QTLs. The simple genetic architecture we reveal will facilitate the evolution and maintenance of new species despite ongoing gene flow by coupling behavioral and ecological aspects of reproductive isolation.

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<![CDATA[Recombination rate variation shapes barriers to introgression across butterfly genomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dcb6d5eed0c484dec09f

Hybridisation and introgression can dramatically alter the relationships among groups of species, leading to phylogenetic discordance across the genome and between populations. Introgression can also erode species differences over time, but selection against introgression at certain loci acts to maintain postmating species barriers. Theory predicts that species barriers made up of many loci throughout the genome should lead to a broad correlation between introgression and recombination rate, which determines the extent to which selection on deleterious foreign alleles will affect neutral alleles at physically linked loci. Here, we describe the variation in genealogical relationships across the genome among three species of Heliconius butterflies: H. melpomene (mel), H. cydno (cyd), and H. timareta (tim), using whole genomes of 92 individuals, and ask whether this variation can be explained by heterogeneous barriers to introgression. We find that species relationships vary predictably at the chromosomal scale. By quantifying recombination rate and admixture proportions, we then show that rates of introgression are predicted by variation in recombination rate. This implies that species barriers are highly polygenic, with selection acting against introgressed alleles across most of the genome. In addition, long chromosomes, which have lower recombination rates, produce stronger barriers on average than short chromosomes. Finally, we find a consistent difference between two species pairs on either side of the Andes, which suggests differences in the architecture of the species barriers. Our findings illustrate how the combined effects of hybridisation, recombination, and natural selection, acting at multitudes of loci over long periods, can dramatically sculpt the phylogenetic relationships among species.

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<![CDATA[Genetic diversity and population structure of Miscanthus lutarioriparius, an endemic plant of China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df329d5eed0c484580de8

Miscanthus lutarioriparius is a native perennial Miscanthus species of China, which is currently used as raw material of papermaking and bioenergy crop. It also has been considered as a promising eco-bioindustrial plant, which can offer raw material and gene for the biomass industry. However, lack of germplasm resources and genetic diversity information of M. lutarioriparius have become the bottleneck that prevents the stable and further development of the biomass industry. In the present study, genetic diversity of 153 M. lutarioriparius individuals nine populations was studied using 27 Start Codon Targeted (SCoT) markers. High polymorphic bands (97.67%), polymorphic information content (0.26) and allele number (1.88) showed SCoT as a reliable marker system for genetic analysis in M. lutarioriparius. At the species, the percentage of polymorphic loci [PPL] was 97.2%, Nei’s gene diversity [H] was 0.36, Shannon index [I] was 0.54 and Expected Heterozygosity [He] was 0.56. Genetic variation within populations (84.91%) was higher than among populations (15.09%) based on analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA). Moderate level of genetic differentiation was found in M. lutarioriparius populations (Fst = 0.15), which is further confirmed by STRUCTURE, principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) and an unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) analysis that could reveal a clear separation between groups of the north and south of Yangtze River. The gene flow of the populations within the respective south and north of Yangtze River area was higher, but lower between the areas. There was no obvious correlation between genetic distance and geographic distance. The breeding systems, geographical isolation and fragmented habitat of M. lutarioriparius may be due to the high level of genetic diversity, moderate genetic differentiation, and the population, structure. The study further suggests some measure for conservation of genetic resources and provides the genetic basis for improving the efficiency of breeding based on the results of diversity analysis.

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<![CDATA[Population genetic structure of the Mediterranean horseshoe bat Rhinolophus euryale in the central Balkans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52f5d5eed0c4842bd32f

Migratory behaviour, sociality and roost selection have a great impact on the population structure of one species. Many bat species live in groups, and movements between summer and hibernation sites are common in temperate bats. The Mediterranean horseshoe bat Rhinolophus euryale is a cave-dwelling species that exhibits roost philopatry and undertakes seasonal movements which are usually shorter than 50 km. Its distribution in Serbia is restricted to karstic areas in western and eastern parts of the country, with a lack of known roosts between them. In this study, microsatellite markers were used to evaluate genetic variation in this species in the Central Balkans. Specifically, spatial genetic structuring between geographic regions and relatedness within different colony types were assessed. All analysed loci were polymorphic, and there was no significant inbreeding coefficient recorded. A moderate degree of genetic differentiation among the sampled colonies was found, and significant isolation by distance was recorded. Our results revealed that populations show a tendency to segregate into three clusters. Unexpectedly, populations from Montenegro and Eastern Serbia tended to group into one cluster, while populations from Western Serbia and Slovenia represented second and third cluster, respectively. The majority of variance was partitioned within colonies, and only a small but significant portion among clusters. Average relatedness within colony members was close to zero, did not differ significantly between the different colony types, and kinship is unlikely to be a major grouping mechanism in this species.

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<![CDATA[Effect of barriers and distance on song, genetic, and morphological divergence in the highland endemic Timberline Wren (Thryorchilus browni, Troglodytidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2544e5d5eed0c48442bad2

Populations may become isolated by distance, geographic barriers or both. Isolated populations often diverge in behavioral, morphological and genetic traits as a result of reduced inter-population gene flow. Highland species commonly present naturally fragmented distributions that confine populations to the highest mountain peaks, isolated by mountain passes and distance. The endemic Timberline Wren (Thryorchilus browni) inhabits the highlands of the Talamanca mountain range, including western Panama, and the highest peak in the Central Volcanic mountain range of Costa Rica. Using microsatellites and song recordings we studied the effect of a geographic barrier and distance on song, genetic and morphological divergence among four populations in Costa Rica. A lowland mountain pass resulted in the largest genetic, vocal, and morphological (bill length) differences among populations, likely due to reduce the gene flow. Cultural drift and assortative mating by females selecting songs from their own population likely accentuates the effect of isolation and limited gene flow between populations. This pattern of population divergence has been found in other Neotropical highland birds, but over larger geographical scales. We conclude that mountain passes and distance both reduce gene flow between populations in recently-isolated highland species with restricted distributions.

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<![CDATA[Gene Flow among Populations of Two Rare Co-Occurring Fern Species Differing in Ploidy Level]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9aab0ee8fa60ba3374

Differences in ploidy levels among different fern species have a vast influence on their mating system, their colonization ability and on the gene flow among populations. Differences in the colonization abilities of species with different ploidy levels are well known: tetraploids, in contrast to diploids, are able to undergo intra-gametophytic selfing. Because fertilization is a post-dispersal process in ferns, selfing results in better colonization abilities in tetraploids because of single spore colonization. Considerably less is known about the gene flow among populations of different ploidy levels. The present study examines two rare fern species that differ in ploidy. While it has already been confirmed that tetraploid species are better at colonizing, the present study focuses on the gene flow among existing populations. We analyzed the genetic structure of a set of populations in a 10×10 km study region using isoenzymes. Genetic variation in tetraploid species is distributed mainly among populations; the genetic distance between populations is correlated with the geographical distance, and larger populations host more genetic diversity than smaller populations. In the diploid species, most variability is partitioned within populations; the genetic distance is not related to geographic distance, and the genetic diversity of populations is not related to the population size. This suggests that in tetraploid species, which undergo selfing, gene flow is limited. In contrast, in the diploid species, which experience outcrossing, gene flow is extensive and the whole system behaves as one large population. Our results suggest that in ferns, the ability to colonize new habitats and the gene flow among existing populations are affected by the mating system.

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<![CDATA[SNP Detection from De Novo Transcriptome Sequencing in the Bivalve Macoma balthica: Marker Development for Evolutionary Studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d4ab0ee8fa60b65621

Hybrid zones are noteworthy systems for the study of environmental adaptation to fast-changing environments, as they constitute reservoirs of polymorphism and are key to the maintenance of biodiversity. They can move in relation to climate fluctuations, as temperature can affect both selection and migration, or remain trapped by environmental and physical barriers. There is therefore a very strong incentive to study the dynamics of hybrid zones subjected to climate variations. The infaunal bivalve Macoma balthica emerges as a noteworthy model species, as divergent lineages hybridize, and its native NE Atlantic range is currently contracting to the North. To investigate the dynamics and functioning of hybrid zones in M. balthica, we developed new molecular markers by sequencing the collective transcriptome of 30 individuals. Ten individuals were pooled for each of the three populations sampled at the margins of two hybrid zones. A single 454 run generated 277 Mb from which 17K SNPs were detected. SNP density averaged 1 polymorphic site every 14 to 19 bases, for mitochondrial and nuclear loci, respectively. An scan detected high genetic divergence among several hundred SNPs, some of them involved in energetic metabolism, cellular respiration and physiological stress. The high population differentiation, recorded for nuclear-encoded ATP synthase and NADH dehydrogenase as well as most mitochondrial loci, suggests cytonuclear genetic incompatibilities. Results from this study will help pave the way to a high-resolution study of hybrid zone dynamics in M. balthica, and the relative importance of endogenous and exogenous barriers to gene flow in this system.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Diversity of and Differentiation among Five Populations of Blunt Snout Bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) Revealed by SRAP Markers: Implications for Conservation and Management]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ddab0ee8fa60b6864d

The blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) is an important freshwater aquaculture fish throughout China. Because of widespread introductions of this species to many regions, the genetic diversity of wild and natural populations is now threatened. In the present study, SRAP (sequence-related amplified polymorphism) markers were used to assess genetic diversity of blunt snout bream. Three natural populations (Liangzi Lake, Poyang Lake and Yuni Lake, one cultured population (Nanxian) and one genetic strain (‘Pujiang No. 1’) of blunt snout bream were screened with 88 SRAP primer combinations, of which 13 primer pairs produced stable and reproducible amplification patterns. In total, 172 bands were produced, of which 132 bands were polymorphic. Nei's gene diversity (h) and Shannon's information index (I) values provided evidence of differences in genetic diversity among the five populations (Poyang Lake>Liangzi Lake>Nanxian>‘Pujiang No. 1’>Yuni Lake). Based on cluster analysis conducted on genetic distance values, the five blunt snout bream populations were divided into three groups, Poyang Lake and Liangzi Lake (natural populations), Nanxian and ‘Pujiang No. 1’ (cultured population and genetically selected strain), and Yuni Lake (natural population). Significant genetic differentiation was found among the five populations using analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), with more genetic divergence existing among populations (55.49%), than within populations (44.51%). This molecular marker technique is a simple and efficient method to quantify genetic diversity within and among fish populations, and is employed here to help manage and conserve germplasm variability of blunt snout bream and to support the ongoing selective breeding programme for this fish.

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<![CDATA[Limited Dispersal and Significant Fine - Scale Genetic Structure in a Tropical Montane Parrot Species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da61ab0ee8fa60b90f2a

Tropical montane ecosystems are biodiversity hotspots harbouring many endemics that are confined to specific habitat types within narrow altitudinal ranges. While deforestation put these ecosystems under threat, we still lack knowledge about how heterogeneous environments like the montane tropics promote population connectivity and persistence. We investigated the fine-scale genetic structure of the two largest subpopulations of the endangered El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi) endemic to the Ecuadorian Andes. Specifically, we assessed the genetic divergence between three sites separated by small geographic distances but characterized by a heterogeneous habitat structure. Although geographical distances between sites are small (3–17 km), we found genetic differentiation between all sites. Even though dispersal capacity is generally high in parrots, our findings indicate that dispersal is limited even on this small geographic scale. Individual genotype assignment revealed similar genetic divergence across a valley (~ 3 km distance) compared to a continuous mountain range (~ 13 km distance). Our findings suggest that geographic barriers promote genetic divergence even on small spatial scales in this endangered endemic species. These results may have important implications for many other threatened and endemic species, particularly given the upslope shift of species predicted from climate change.

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<![CDATA[The relationship between least-cost and resistance distance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc034

Least-cost modelling and circuit theory are common analogs used in ecology and evolution to model gene flow or animal movement across landscapes. Least-cost modelling estimates the least-cost distance, whereas circuit theory estimates resistance distance. The bias added in choosing one method over the other has not been well documented. We designed an experiment to test whether both methods were linearly related. We also tested the sensitivity of these metrics to variation in Euclidean distance, spatial autocorrelation, the number of pixels representing the landscape, and data aggregation. We found that least-cost and resistance distance were not linearly related unless a transformation was applied. Resistance distance was less sensitive to the number of pixels representing a landscape and was also less sensitive than least-cost distance to the Euclidean distance between nodes. Spatial autocorrelation did not affect either method or the relationship between methods. Resistance distance was more sensitive to aggregation in any form compared to least-cost distance. Therefore, the metric used to infer movement or gene flow and the manipulations applied to the data used to calculate these metrics may govern findings.

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<![CDATA[Human Neutral Genetic Variation and Forensic STR Data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9daab0ee8fa60b6739d

The forensic genetics field is generating extensive population data on polymorphism of short tandem repeats (STR) markers in globally distributed samples. In this study we explored and quantified the informative power of these datasets to address issues related to human evolution and diversity, by using two online resources: an allele frequency dataset representing 141 populations summing up to almost 26 thousand individuals; a genotype dataset consisting of 42 populations and more than 11 thousand individuals. We show that the genetic relationships between populations based on forensic STRs are best explained by geography, as observed when analysing other worldwide datasets generated specifically to study human diversity. However, the global level of genetic differentiation between populations (as measured by a fixation index) is about half the value estimated with those other datasets, which contain a much higher number of markers but much less individuals. We suggest that the main factor explaining this difference is an ascertainment bias in forensics data resulting from the choice of markers for individual identification. We show that this choice results in average low variance of heterozygosity across world regions, and hence in low differentiation among populations. Thus, the forensic genetic markers currently produced for the purpose of individual assignment and identification allow the detection of the patterns of neutral genetic structure that characterize the human population but they do underestimate the levels of this genetic structure compared to the datasets of STRs (or other kinds of markers) generated specifically to study the diversity of human populations.

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<![CDATA[Spatial Structure and Climatic Adaptation in African Maize Revealed by Surveying SNP Diversity in Relation to Global Breeding and Landrace Panels]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f1ab0ee8fa60b6e89b

Background

Climate change threatens maize productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. To ensure food security, access to locally adapted genetic resources and varieties is an important adaptation measure. Most of the maize grown in Africa is a genetic mix of varieties introduced at different historic times following the birth of the trans-Atlantic economy, and knowledge about geographic structure and local adaptations is limited.

Methodology

A panel of 48 accessions of maize representing various introduction routes and sources of historic and recent germplasm introductions in Africa was genotyped with the MaizeSNP50 array. Spatial genetic structure and genetic relationships in the African panel were analysed separately and in the context of a panel of 265 inbred lines representing global breeding material (based on 26,900 SNPs) and a panel of 1127 landraces from the Americas (270 SNPs). Environmental association analysis was used to detect SNPs associated with three climatic variables based on the full 43,963 SNP dataset.

Conclusions

The genetic structure is consistent between subsets of the data and the markers are well suited for resolving relationships and admixture among the accessions. The African accessions are structured in three clusters reflecting historical and current patterns of gene flow from the New World and within Africa. The Sahelian cluster reflects original introductions of Meso-American landraces via Europe and a modern introduction of temperate breeding material. The Western cluster reflects introduction of Coastal Brazilian landraces, as well as a Northeast-West spread of maize through Arabic trade routes across the continent. The Eastern cluster most strongly reflects gene flow from modern introduced tropical varieties. Controlling for population history in a linear model, we identify 79 SNPs associated with maximum temperature during the growing season. The associations located in genes of known importance for abiotic stress tolerance are interesting candidates for local adaptations.

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<![CDATA[The Local Origin of the Tibetan Pig and Additional Insights into the Origin of Asian Pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db38ab0ee8fa60bd3e40

Background

The domestic pig currently indigenous to the Tibetan highlands is supposed to have been introduced during a continuous period of colonization by the ancestors of modern Tibetans. However, there is no direct genetic evidence of either the local origin or exotic migration of the Tibetan pig.

Methods and Findings

We analyzed mtDNA hypervariable segment I (HVI) variation of 218 individuals from seven Tibetan pig populations and 1,737 reported mtDNA sequences from domestic pigs and wild boars across Asia. The Bayesian consensus tree revealed a main haplogroup M and twelve minor haplogroups, which suggested a large number of small scale in situ domestication episodes. In particular, haplogroups D1 and D6 represented two highly divergent lineages in the Tibetan highlands and Island Southeastern Asia, respectively. Network analysis of haplogroup M further revealed one main subhaplogroup M1 and two minor subhaplogroups M2 and M3. Intriguingly, M2 was mainly distributed in Southeastern Asia, suggesting for a local origin. Similar with haplogroup D6, M3 was mainly restricted in Island Southeastern Asia. This pattern suggested that Island Southeastern Asia, but not Southeastern Asia, might be the center of domestication of the so-called Pacific clade (M3 and D6 here) described in previous studies. Diversity gradient analysis of major subhaplogroup M1 suggested three local origins in Southeastern Asia, the middle and downstream regions of the Yangtze River, and the Tibetan highlands, respectively.

Conclusions

We identified two new origin centers for domestic pigs in the Tibetan highlands and in the Island Southeastern Asian region.

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<![CDATA[Between-Group Variation in Female Dispersal, Kin Composition of Groups, and Proximity Patterns in a Black-and-White Colobus Monkey (Colobus vellerosus)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f3ab0ee8fa60b6f364

A growing body of evidence shows within-population variation in natal dispersal, but the effects of such variation on social relationships and the kin composition of groups remain poorly understood. We investigate the link between dispersal, the kin composition of groups, and proximity patterns in a population of black-and-white colobus (Colobus vellerosus) that shows variation in female dispersal. From 2006 to 2011, we collected behavioral data, demographic data, and fecal samples of 77 males and 92 females residing in eight groups at Boabeng-Fiema, Ghana. A combination of demographic data and a genetic network analysis showed that although philopatry was female-biased, only about half of the females resided in their natal groups. Only one group contained female-female dyads with higher average relatedness than randomly drawn animals of both sexes from the same group. Despite between-group variation in female dispersal and kin composition, female-female dyads in most of the study groups had higher proximity scores than randomly drawn dyads from the same group. We conclude that groups fall along a continuum from female dispersed, not kin-based, and not bonded to female philopatric, kin-based, and bonded. We found only partial support for the predicted link between dispersal, kin composition, and social relationships. In contrast to most mammals where the kin composition of groups is a good predictor of the quality of female-female relationships, this study provides further support for the notion that kinship is not necessary for the development and maintenance of social bonds in some gregarious species.

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<![CDATA[The Occurrence of Photorhabdus-Like Toxin Complexes in Bacillus thuringiensis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3aab0ee8fa60bd4ab0

Recently, genomic sequencing of a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) isolate from our collection revealed the presence of an apparent operon encoding an insecticidal toxin complex (Tca) similar to that first described from the entomopathogen Photorhabdus luminescens. To determine whether these genes are widespread among Bt strains, we screened isolates from the collection for the presence of tccC, one of the genes needed for the expression of fully functional toxin complexes. Among 81 isolates chosen to represent commonly encountered biochemical phenotypes, 17 were found to possess a tccC. Phylogenetic analysis of the 81 isolates by multilocus sequence typing revealed that all the isolates possessing a tccC gene were restricted to two sequence types related to Bt varieties morrisoni, tenebrionis, israelensis and toumanoffi. Sequencing of the ∼17 kb tca operon from two isolates representing each of the two sequence types revealed >99% sequence identity. Optical mapping of DNA from Bt isolates representing each of the sequence types revealed nearly identical plasmids of ca. 333 and 338 kbp, respectively. Selected isolates were found to be toxic to gypsy moth larvae, but were not as effective as a commercial strain of Bt kurstaki. Some isolates were found to inhibit growth of Colorado potato beetle. Custom Taqman® relative quantitative real-time PCR assays for Tc-encoding Bt revealed both tcaA and tcaB genes were expressed within infected gypsy moth larvae.

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<![CDATA[The Genetic Structure of the Swedish Population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b6951d

Patterns of genetic diversity have previously been shown to mirror geography on a global scale and within continents and individual countries. Using genome-wide SNP data on 5174 Swedes with extensive geographical coverage, we analyzed the genetic structure of the Swedish population. We observed strong differences between the far northern counties and the remaining counties. The population of Dalarna county, in north middle Sweden, which borders southern Norway, also appears to differ markedly from other counties, possibly due to this county having more individuals with remote Finnish or Norwegian ancestry than other counties. An analysis of genetic differentiation (based on pairwise Fst) indicated that the population of Sweden's southernmost counties are genetically closer to the HapMap CEU samples of Northern European ancestry than to the populations of Sweden's northernmost counties. In a comparison of extended homozygous segments, we detected a clear divide between southern and northern Sweden with small differences between the southern counties and considerably more segments in northern Sweden. Both the increased degree of homozygosity in the north and the large genetic differences between the south and the north may have arisen due to a small population in the north and the vast geographical distances between towns and villages in the north, in contrast to the more densely settled southern parts of Sweden. Our findings have implications for future genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with respect to the matching of cases and controls and the need for within-county matching. We have shown that genetic differences within a single country may be substantial, even when viewed on a European scale. Thus, population stratification needs to be accounted for, even within a country like Sweden, which is often perceived to be relatively homogenous and a favourable resource for genetic mapping, otherwise inferences based on genetic data may lead to false conclusions.

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<![CDATA[Patterns of Deep-Sea Genetic Connectivity in the New Zealand Region: Implications for Management of Benthic Ecosystems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da33ab0ee8fa60b851fa

Patterns of genetic connectivity are increasingly considered in the design of marine protected areas (MPAs) in both shallow and deep water. In the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), deep-sea communities at upper bathyal depths (<2000 m) are vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbance from fishing and potential mining operations. Currently, patterns of genetic connectivity among deep-sea populations throughout New Zealand’s EEZ are not well understood. Using the mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase I and 16S rRNA genes as genetic markers, this study aimed to elucidate patterns of genetic connectivity among populations of two common benthic invertebrates with contrasting life history strategies. Populations of the squat lobster Munida gracilis and the polychaete Hyalinoecia longibranchiata were sampled from continental slope, seamount, and offshore rise habitats on the Chatham Rise, Hikurangi Margin, and Challenger Plateau. For the polychaete, significant population structure was detected among distinct populations on the Chatham Rise, the Hikurangi Margin, and the Challenger Plateau. Significant genetic differences existed between slope and seamount populations on the Hikurangi Margin, as did evidence of population differentiation between the northeast and southwest parts of the Chatham Rise. In contrast, no significant population structure was detected across the study area for the squat lobster. Patterns of genetic connectivity in Hyalinoecia longibranchiata are likely influenced by a number of factors including current regimes that operate on varying spatial and temporal scales to produce potential barriers to dispersal. The striking difference in population structure between species can be attributed to differences in life history strategies. The results of this study are discussed in the context of existing conservation areas that are intended to manage anthropogenic threats to deep-sea benthic communities in the New Zealand region.

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<![CDATA[The Date of Interbreeding between Neandertals and Modern Humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac6ab0ee8fa60bb2ace

Comparisons of DNA sequences between Neandertals and present-day humans have shown that Neandertals share more genetic variants with non-Africans than with Africans. This could be due to interbreeding between Neandertals and modern humans when the two groups met subsequent to the emergence of modern humans outside Africa. However, it could also be due to population structure that antedates the origin of Neandertal ancestors in Africa. We measure the extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the genomes of present-day Europeans and find that the last gene flow from Neandertals (or their relatives) into Europeans likely occurred 37,000–86,000 years before the present (BP), and most likely 47,000–65,000 years ago. This supports the recent interbreeding hypothesis and suggests that interbreeding may have occurred when modern humans carrying Upper Paleolithic technologies encountered Neandertals as they expanded out of Africa.

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