University of Oulu

Talla, V, Johansson, A, Dincă, V, et al. Lack of gene flow: Narrow and dispersed differentiation islands in a triplet of Leptidea butterfly species. Mol Ecol. 2019; 28: 3756– 3770.

Lack of gene flow : narrow and dispersed differentiation islands in a triplet of Leptidea butterfly species

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Author: Talla, Venkat1; Johansson, Anna2; Dincă, Vlad3;
Organizations: 1Department of Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre (EBC), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
2Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala Biomedical Centre (BMC), Uppsala, Sweden
3Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC‐UPF), Barcelona, Spain
5Department of Biology, Biodiversity Unit, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
6Division of Ecology, Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-07-20


Genome scans in recently separated species can inform on molecular mechanisms and evolutionary processes driving divergence. Large‐scale polymorphism data from multiple species pairs are also key to investigate the repeatability of divergence—whether radiations tend to show parallel responses to similar selection pressures and/or underlying molecular forces. Here, we used whole‐genome resequencing data from six wood white (Leptidea sp.) butterfly populations, representing three closely related species with karyomorph variation, to infer the species’ demographic history and characterize patterns of genomic diversity and differentiation. The analyses supported previously established species relationships, and there was no evidence for postdivergence gene flow. We identified significant intraspecific genetic structure, in particular between karyomorph extremes in the wood white (L. sinapis)—a species with a remarkable chromosome number cline across the distribution range. The genomic landscapes of differentiation were erratic, and outlier regions were narrow and dispersed. Highly differentiated (FST) regions generally had low genetic diversity (θπ), but increased absolute divergence (DXY) and excess of rare frequency variants (low Tajima’s D). A minority of differentiation peaks were shared across species and population comparisons. However, highly differentiated regions contained genes with overrepresented functions related to metabolism, response to stimulus and cellular processes, indicating recurrent directional selection on a specific set of traits in all comparisons. In contrast to the majority of genome scans in recently diverged lineages, our data suggest that divergence landscapes in Leptidea have been shaped by directional selection and genetic drift rather than stable recombination landscapes and/or introgression.

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Series: Molecular ecology
ISSN: 0962-1083
ISSN-E: 1365-294X
ISSN-L: 0962-1083
Volume: 28
Issue: 16
Pages: 3756 - 3770
DOI: 10.1111/mec.15188
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Funding: This work was supported by a junior research grant from the Swedish Research Council (VR) to NB. The authors acknowledge support from the National Genomics Infrastructure in Stockholm and Uppsala funded by the Science for Life Laboratory, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Swedish Research Council, and SNIC/Uppsala Multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Computational Science for assistance with massively parallel sequencing and access to the UPPMAX computational infrastructure. RV was supported by project CGL2016‐76322‐P (AEI/FEDER, UE).
Copyright information: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Talla, V, Johansson, A, Dincă, V, et al. Lack of gene flow: Narrow and dispersed differentiation islands in a triplet of Leptidea butterfly species. Mol Ecol. 2019; 28: 3756– 3770, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.