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Asymmetric and differential gene introgression at a contact zone between two highly divergent lineages of field voles (Microtus agrestis)
University of Bern.
University of Lausanne.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
University of Bern.
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 25, no 2, 400-408 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Secondary contact zones have the potential to shed light on the mode and rate at which reproductive isolation accumulates during allopatric speciation. We investigated the population genetics of a contact zone between two highly divergent lineages of field voles (Microtus agrestis) in the Swiss Jura mountains. To shed light on the processes underlying introgression, we used maternally, paternally, and bi-parentally inherited markers. Though the two lineages maintained a strong genetic structure, we found some hybrids and evidence of gene flow. The extent of introgression varied with the mode of inheritance, being highest for mtDNA and absent for the Y chromosome. In addition, introgression was asymmetric, occurring only from the Northern to the Southern lineage. Both patterns seem parsimoniously explained by neutral processes linked to differences in effective sizes and sex-biased dispersal rates. The lineage with lower effective population size was also the more introgressed, and the mode-of-inheritance effect correlated with the male-biased dispersal rate of microtine rodents. We cannot exclude, however, that Haldanes effect contributed to the latter, as we found a marginally significant deficit in males (the heterogametic sex) among hybrids. We propose a possible demographic scenario to account for the patterns documented, and empirical extensions to further investigate this contact zone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell , 2012. Vol. 25, no 2, 400-408 p.
Keyword [en]
expansion, field vole, Haldanes rule, hybridization, secondary contact zone, sex-biased dispersal, speciation
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-74838DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02432.xISI: 000299043300016OAI: diva2:496629
Funding Agencies|Basler Stiftung fur Biologische Forschung||Agassiz Fondation||University of Lausanne||Swiss National Science foundation|31003A-12737731003A-108100|Available from: 2012-02-10 Created: 2012-02-10 Last updated: 2012-02-10

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Jaarola, Maarit
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Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineFaculty of Health Sciences
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