Ancient hybridization fuels rapid cichlid fish adaptive radiations

Meier, Joana; Marques, David Alexander; Mwaiko, Salome; Wagner, Catherine; Excoffier, Laurent; Seehausen, Ole (2017). Ancient hybridization fuels rapid cichlid fish adaptive radiations. Nature communications, 8(14363), p. 14363. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/ncomms14363

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Understanding why some evolutionary lineages generate exceptionally high species diversity is an important goal in evolutionary biology. Haplochromine cichlid fishes of Africa’s Lake Victoria region encompass 4700 diverse species that all evolved in the last 150,000 years. How this ‘Lake Victoria Region Superflock’ could evolve on such rapid timescales is an enduring question. Here, we demonstrate that hybridization between two divergent lineages facilitated this process by providing genetic variation that subsequently became recombined and sorted into many new species. Notably, the hybridization event generated exceptional allelic variation at an opsin gene known to be involved in adaptation and speciation. More generally, differentiation between new species is accentuated around variants that were fixed differences between the parental lineages, and that now appear in many new combinations in the radiation species. We conclude that hybridization between divergent lineages, when coincident with ecological opportunity, may facilitate rapid and extensive adaptive radiation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Population Genetics
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Meier, Joana; Marques, David Alexander; Wagner, Catherine; Excoffier, Laurent and Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

2041-1723

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2017 15:19

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2017 17:11

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/ncomms14363

PubMed ID:

28186104

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.95714

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/95714

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