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On the impermanence of species: The collapse of genetic incompatibilities in hybridizing populations

Xiong, T; Mallet, J; (2022) On the impermanence of species: The collapse of genetic incompatibilities in hybridizing populations. Evolution , 76 (11) pp. 2498-2512. 10.1111/evo.14626. Green open access

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Abstract

Species pairs often become genetically incompatible during divergence, which is an important source of reproductive isolation. An idealized picture is often painted where incompatibility alleles accumulate and fix between diverging species. However, recent studies have shown both that incompatibilities can collapse with ongoing hybridization, and that incompatibility loci can be polymorphic within species. This paper suggests some general rules for the behavior of incompatibilities under hybridization. In particular, we argue that redundancy of genetic pathways can strongly affect the dynamics of intrinsic incompatibilities. Since fitness in genetically redundant systems is unaffected by introducing a few foreign alleles, higher redundancy decreases the stability of incompatibilities during hybridization, but also increases tolerance of incompatibility polymorphism within species. We use simulations and theories to show that this principle leads to two types of collapse: in redundant systems, exemplified by classical Dobzhansky–Muller incompatibilities, collapse is continuous and approaches a quasi-neutral polymorphism between broadly sympatric species, often as a result of isolation-by-distance. In nonredundant systems, exemplified by co-evolution among genetic elements, incompatibilities are often stable, but can collapse abruptly with spatial traveling waves. As both types are common, the proposed principle may be useful in understanding the abundance of genetic incompatibilities in natural populations.

Type: Article
Title: On the impermanence of species: The collapse of genetic incompatibilities in hybridizing populations
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/evo.14626
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.14626
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Society for the Study of Evolution. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Keywords: Genetic redundancy, hybridization, incompatibility, purging of incompatibilities, reproductive isolation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10165517
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