University of Oulu

Dincă V, Lee KM, Vila R, Mutanen M. 2019 The conundrum of species delimitation: a genomic perspective on a mitogenetically super-variable butterfly. Proc. R. Soc. B 286: 20191311.

The conundrum of species delimitation : a genomic perspective on a mitogenetically super-variable butterfly

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Author: Dincă, Vlad1; Lee, Kyung Min1; Vila, Roger2;
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, PO Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: The Royal Society, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-07


The Palaearctic butterfly Melitaea didyma stands out as one of the most striking cases of intraspecific genetic differentiation detected in Lepidoptera: 11 partially sympatric mitochondrial lineages have been reported, displaying levels of divergence of up to 7.4%. To better understand the evolutionary processes underlying the diversity observed in mtDNA, we compared mtDNA and genome-wide SNP data using double-digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) results from 93 specimens of M. didyma ranging from Morocco to eastern Kazakhstan. We found that, between ddRADseq and mtDNA results, there is a match only in populations that probably remained allopatric for long periods of time. Other mtDNA lineages may have resulted from introgression events and were probably affected by Wolbachia infection. The five main ddRADseq clades supported by STRUCTURE were parapatric or allopatric and showed high pairwise FST values, but some were also estimated to display various levels of gene flow. Melitaea didyma represents one of the first cases of deep mtDNA splits among European butterflies assessed by a genome-wide DNA analysis and reveals that the interpretation of patterns remains challenging even when a high amount of genomic data is available. These findings actualize the ongoing debate of species delimitation in allopatry, an issue probably of relevance to a significant proportion of global biodiversity.

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Series: Proceedings of the Royal Society. B, Biological sciences
ISSN: 0962-8452
ISSN-E: 1471-2954
ISSN-L: 0962-8452
Volume: 286
Issue: 1911
Article number: 20191311
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.1311
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Financial support for this research was provided by the Academy of Finland (grant no. 277984) to M.M. and project CGL2016-76322-P (AEI/FEDER, UE) to R.V. K.M.L. acknowledges the financial support from the Kvantum Institute (University of Oulu).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 277984
Detailed Information: 277984 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.