Vallejo-Marín M (2018) Searching for the genetic footprint of ancient and recent hybridization. Commentary on: Jordan, C. Y., Lohse, K., Turner, F., Thomson, M., Gharbi, K., & Ennos, R.A. (2018). Maintaining their genetic distance: Little evidence forintrogression between widely hybridising species of Geum with con-trasting mating systems. Molecular Ecology, 27, 1214–1228.. Molecular Ecology, 27 (5), pp. 1095-1097. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.14444
Determining the long-term consequences of hybridization remains a central quest for evolutionary biologists. A particular challenge is to establish whether and to what extent widespread hybridization results in gene flow (introgression) between parental taxa. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Jordan et al. () search for evidence of gene flow between two closely related species of Geum (Rosaceae), which hybridize readily in contemporary populations and where hybrid swarms have been recorded for at least 200 years (Ruhsam, Hollingsworth, & Ennos, ). The authors find mixed evidence of ancient introgression when analysing allopatric populations. Intriguingly, when analysing populations of a region where the two species occur either mixed in the same population or in close proximity, and where hybrids are presently common, Jordan and colleagues find that the majority of randomly sampled individuals analysed (92/96) show no evidence of introgression (defined as individuals with admixture coefficients of < 1%). The few individuals identified as hybrids are shown to likely be F1 or early-generation backcrosses, indicating that even in sympatric regions, hybridization does not penetrate beyond a few generations. Based on their findings, Geum seems to be an example of little to no introgression despite contemporary hybridization.
Molecular Ecology: Volume 27, Issue 5
|Publication date online||06/04/2018|
|Date accepted by journal||14/11/2017|
|Item discussed||Jordan, C. Y., Lohse, K., Turner, F., Thomson, M., Gharbi, K., & Ennos, R.A. (2018). Maintaining their genetic distance: Little evidence forintrogression between widely hybridising species of Geum with con-trasting mating systems. Molecular Ecology, 27, 1214–1228.|