University of Oulu

Tahami, M.S.; Dincă, V.; Lee, K.M.; Vila, R.; Joshi, M.; Heikkilä, M.; Dapporto, L.; Schmid, S.; Huemer, P.; Mutanen, M. Genomics Reveal Admixture and Unexpected Patterns of Diversity in a Parapatric Pair of Butterflies. Genes 2021, 12, 2009.

Genomics reveal admixture and unexpected patterns of diversity in a parapatric pair of butterflies

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Author: Tahami, Mohadeseh Sadat1; Dincă, Vlad1; Lee, Kyung Min1;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC—Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
3Zoology Unit, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 17, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
4Numerical and Experimental Zoology Laboratory (ZEN Lab), Dipartimento di Biologia, Dell’ Università di Firenze, Via Madonna del Piano 6, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
5Departement de Biologie Computationnelle, Faculte de Biologie et Medecine, Universite de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
6Tiroler Landesmuseen Betriebsges.m.b.H., Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen, Krajnc-Str. 1, A-6060 Hall, Austria
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-02-08


We studied the evolutionary relationship of two widely distributed parapatric butterfly species, Melitaea athalia and Melitaea celadussa, using the ddRAD sequencing approach, as well as genital morphology and mtDNA data. M. athalia was retrieved as paraphyletic with respect to M. celadussa. Several cases of mito-nuclear discordance and morpho-genetic mismatch were found in the contact zone. A strongly diverged and marginally sympatric clade of M. athalia from the Balkans was revealed. An in-depth analysis of genomic structure detected high levels of admixture between M. athalia and M. celadussa at the contact zone, though not reaching the Balkan clade. The demographic modelling of populations supported the intermediate genetic make-up of European M. athalia populations with regards to M. celadussa and the Balkan clade. However, the dissimilarity matrix of genotype data (PCoA) suggested the Balkan lineage having a genetic component that is unrelated to the athalia-celadussa group. Although narrowly sympatric, almost no signs of gene flow were found between the main M. athalia group and the Balkan clade. We propose two possible scenarios on the historical evolution of our model taxa and the role of the last glacial maximum in shaping their current distribution. Finally, we discuss the complexities regarding the taxonomic delimitation of parapatric taxa.

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Series: Genes
ISSN: 2073-4425
ISSN-E: 2073-4425
ISSN-L: 2073-4425
Volume: 12
Issue: 12
Article number: 2009
DOI: 10.3390/genes12122009
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: This research was funded by the Academy of Finland, grant numbers 314702 and 328895; the Kvantum Institute; the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of Spain, grant number PID2019-107078GB-I00/AEI/10.13039/501100011033]; and supported by the project “Ricerca e conservazione sugli Impollinatori dell’Arcipelago Toscano e divulgazione sui Lepidotteri del parco”.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 314702
Detailed Information: 314702 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
328895 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (