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Title: Population divergence and gene flow in two East Asian shorebirds on the verge of speciation
Authors: Sadanandan, K.R. 
Küpper, C.
Low, G.W. 
Yao, C.-T.
Li, Y.
Xu, T.
Rheindt, F.E. 
Wu, S.
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Citation: Sadanandan, K.R., Küpper, C., Low, G.W., Yao, C.-T., Li, Y., Xu, T., Rheindt, F.E., Wu, S. (2019). Population divergence and gene flow in two East Asian shorebirds on the verge of speciation. Scientific Reports 9 (1) : 8546. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Genetic isolation of populations over evolutionary time leads to the formation of independent species. We examined a pair of shorebirds – the Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus and the enigmatic White-faced Plover C. dealbatus – which display strong plumage differentiation, yet show minimal genetic divergence based on previous mitochondrial and microsatellite work. Two scenarios may lead to this situation: (1) they represent clinal or poorly diverged populations with limited genomic differentiation despite substantial plumage variation, or (2) they are diverging taxa at the cusp of speciation, with ongoing limited gene flow obliterating signals of differentiation in traditional genetic markers. We compared the genotypes of 98 plovers (59 Kentish Plovers, 35 White-faced Plovers and 4 genomic hybrids) sampled in eastern Asia and Europe using ddRADSeq to harvest over 8000 genome-wide SNPs. In contrast to previous studies, our analyses revealed two well defined genomic clusters, with limited hybridization and a narrow contact zone. We also uncovered significant differences in bill length and further sex-specific differences in size, which may signal differences in mate choice between Kentish and White-faced Plovers. Our results support the hypothesis that this shorebird duo is on the verge of speciation. © 2019, The Author(s).
Source Title: Scientific Reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-44996-5
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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