Determining population structure and hybridization for two iris species

Authors

  • Jennafer A. P. Hamlin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
    • Correspondence

      Jennafer A. P. Hamlin, Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, 120 East Green St. Davison Life Sciences Building, Athens, GA. Tel: 706 410 7529; Fax: 706 542 3910; E-mail: jhamlin@uga.edu

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  • Michael L. Arnold

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
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Abstract

Identifying processes that promote or limit gene flow can help define the ecological and evolutionary history of a species. Furthermore, defining those factors that make up “species boundaries” can provide a definition of the independent evolutionary trajectories of related taxa. For many species, the historic processes that account for their distribution of genetic variation remain unresolved. In this study, we examine the geographic distribution of genetic diversity for two species of Louisiana Irises, Iris brevicaulis and Iris fulva. Specifically, we asked how populations are structured and if population structure coincides with potential barriers to gene flow. We also asked whether there is evidence of hybridization between these two species outside Louisiana hybrid zones. We used a genotyping-by-sequencing approach and sampled a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms across these species' genomes. Two different population assignment methods were used to resolve population structure in I. brevicaulis; however, there was considerably less population structure in I. fulva. We used a species tree approach to infer phylogenies both within and between populations and species. For I. brevicaulis, the geography of the collection locality was reflected in the phylogeny. The I. fulva phylogeny reflected much less structure than detected for I. brevicaulis. Lastly, combining both species into a phylogenetic analysis resolved two of six populations of I. brevicaulis that shared alleles with I. fulva. Taken together, our results suggest major differences in the level and pattern of connectivity among populations of these two Louisiana Iris species.

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