Natural selection interacts with recombination to shape the evolution of hybrid genomes

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Science  11 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6389, pp. 656-660
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar3684

Selection, recombination, and hybrid evolution

Hybridization is an important force in evolution. The effects of hybridization across the whole genome are not understood. Using a fine-scale genetic map, Schumer et al. examined local ancestry in replicate natural hybrid populations of swordtail fish. Each parental species contributes different proportions of genetic material to the genomes of their descendants. Genes from the “minor” (less well-represented) parent occur in regions of the genome that are subject to higher recombination rates and where there are fewer potentially deleterious genes. Neanderthal ancestry in human genomes shows similar patterns.

Science, this issue p. 656


To investigate the consequences of hybridization between species, we studied three replicate hybrid populations that formed naturally between two swordtail fish species, estimating their fine-scale genetic map and inferring ancestry along the genomes of 690 individuals. In all three populations, ancestry from the “minor” parental species is more common in regions of high recombination and where there is linkage to fewer putative targets of selection. The same patterns are apparent in a reanalysis of human and archaic admixture. These results support models in which ancestry from the minor parental species is more likely to persist when rapidly uncoupled from alleles that are deleterious in hybrids. Our analyses further indicate that selection on swordtail hybrids stems predominantly from deleterious combinations of epistatically interacting alleles.

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