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Keywords:

  • Gastropoda;
  • Illumina next-generation sequencing;
  • land snails;
  • mass spectrum analysis;
  • reproductive isolation;
  • tension zone

Abstract

Hybrid zones are regions where genetically distinct populations meet, mate and produce offspring. In such zones, genetically less compatible gene combinations are usually generated, resulting in reduced fitness, and hybrid zones are often maintained because of continuous removal of unfit genotypes, balanced by gene flow into the zone from the parental populations (and are then referred to as ‘tension zones’). Tension zones often display unexpectedly high frequencies of gene variants that are rare outside the zone. Previous work has shown that this ‘rare allele phenomenon’ is not the result of intragenic recombination or increased mutation rates. Further understanding of the population genetics of the phenomenon requires an approach in which both the numbers of individuals and the numbers of loci is increased. Here, we report an approach using a combination of Illumina next-generation sequencing and mass spectrophotometer genotyping to identify markers that may be used for genome-wide investigations of the rare allele phenomenon. We test this approach on a hybrid zone in the land snail Albinaria hippolyti from Greece.