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The role of geography and ecology in shaping repeated patterns of morphological and genetic differentiation between European minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus) from the Pyrenees and the Alps

Home Forums Ichthyology The role of geography and ecology in shaping repeated patterns of morphological and genetic differentiation between European minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus) from the Pyrenees and the Alps

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    Matt
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    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society – early view

    Abstract

    Neutral and selective processes can drive repeated patterns of evolution in different groups of populations experiencing similar ecological gradients. In this paper, we used a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, as well as geometric morphometrics, to investigate repeated patterns of morphological and genetic divergence of European minnows in two mountain ranges: the Pyrenees and the Alps. European minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus) are cyprinid fish inhabiting most freshwater bodies in Europe, including those in different mountain ranges that could act as major geographical barriers to gene flow. We explored patterns of P. phoxinus phenotypic and genetic diversification along a gradient of altitude common to the two mountain ranges, and tested for isolation by distance (IBD), isolation by environment (IBE) and isolation by adaptation (IBA). The results indicated that populations from the Pyrenees and the Alps belong to two well differentiated, reciprocally monophyletic mtDNA lineages. Substantial genetic differentiation due to geographical isolation within and between populations from the Pyrenees and the Alps was also found using rapidly evolving AFLPs markers (isolation by distance or IBD), as well as morphological differences between mountain ranges. Also, morphology varied strongly with elevation and so did genetic differentiation to a lower extent. Despite moderate evidence for IBE and IBA, and therefore of repeated evolution, substantial population heterogeneity was found at the genetic level, suggesting that selection and population specific genetic drift act in concert to affect genetic divergence.

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