Patterns of divergence across the geographic and genomic landscape of a butterfly hybrid zone associated with a climatic gradient

Sean F. Ryan, Michael C. Fontaine, J. Mark Scriber, Michael E. Pfrender, Shawn T. O'Neil, Jessica J. Hellmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Hybrid zones are a valuable tool for studying the process of speciation and for identifying the genomic regions undergoing divergence and the ecological (extrinsic) and nonecological (intrinsic) factors involved. Here, we explored the genomic and geographic landscape of divergence in a hybrid zone between Papilio glaucus and Papilio canadensis. Using a genome scan of 28,417 ddRAD SNPs, we identified genomic regions under possible selection and examined their distribution in the context of previously identified candidate genes for ecological adaptations. We showed that differentiation was genomewide, including multiple candidate genes for ecological adaptations, particularly those involved in seasonal adaptation and host plant detoxification. The Z chromosome and four autosomes showed a disproportionate amount of differentiation, suggesting genes on these chromosomes play a potential role in reproductive isolation. Cline analyses of significantly differentiated genomic SNPs, and of species-diagnostic genetic markers, showed a high degree of geographic coincidence (81%) and concordance (80%) and were associated with the geographic distribution of a climate-mediated developmental threshold (length of the growing season). A relatively large proportion (1.3%) of the outliers for divergent selection were not associated with candidate genes for ecological adaptations and may reflect the presence of previously unrecognized intrinsic barriers between these species. These results suggest that exogenous (climate-mediated) and endogenous (unknown) clines may have become coupled and act together to reinforce reproductive isolation. This approach of assessing divergence across both the genomic and geographic landscape can provide insight about the interplay between the genetic architecture of reproductive isolation and endogenous and exogenous selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4725-4742
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular ecology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Butterfly collections were undertaken by Sean F. Ryan, Mark Scriber, Jason Dzurisin and Sarah Richman. Many thanks to Benjamin Clifford, Meredith Doellman and Jacqueline Lopez and Melissa Stephens in the Notre Dame Genomics & Bioinformatics Core Facility for their advice in various aspects of experimental design, NGS data collection and analysis. This work was sponsored by NSF grants DEB-0918879 to JMS and DEB-0919147 to JJH and a grant to SFR from the Environmental Change Initiative at the University of Notre Dame.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • climate
  • cline
  • genomic
  • hybridization
  • intrinsic incompatibilities
  • RAD


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