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Multiple chromosomal rearrangements in a hybrid zone between Littorina saxatilis ecotypes

Journal article
Authors R. Faria
P. Chaube
Hernán E. Morales
Tomas Larsson
A. R. Lemmon
E. M. Lemmon
Marina Rafajlovic
Marina Panova
M. Ravinet
Kerstin Johannesson
A. M. Westram
Roger Butlin
Published in Molecular Ecology
Volume 28
Issue 6
Pages 1375-1393
ISSN 0962-1083
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of marine sciences
Department of marine sciences, Tjärnö Marine Laboratory
Pages 1375-1393
Language en
Keywords balancing selection, Gastropoda, inversion, linkage disequilibrium, local adaptation, recombination, reproductive isolation, local adaptation, gene flow, crossing-over, inversions, evolution, divergence, recombination, selection, barrier, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Subject categories Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources, Biological Sciences


Both classical and recent studies suggest that chromosomal inversion polymorphisms are important in adaptation and speciation. However, biases in discovery and reporting of inversions make it difficult to assess their prevalence and biological importance. Here, we use an approach based on linkage disequilibrium among markers genotyped for samples collected across a transect between contrasting habitats to detect chromosomal rearrangements de novo. We report 17 polymorphic rearrangements in a single locality for the coastal marine snail, Littorina saxatilis. Patterns of diversity in the field and of recombination in controlled crosses provide strong evidence that at least the majority of these rearrangements are inversions. Most show clinal changes in frequency between habitats, suggestive of divergent selection, but only one appears to be fixed for different arrangements in the two habitats. Consistent with widespread evidence for balancing selection on inversion polymorphisms, we argue that a combination of heterosis and divergent selection can explain the observed patterns and should be considered in other systems spanning environmental gradients.

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