Complex Evolutionary History With Extensive Ancestral Gene Flow in an African Primate Radiation.

Jensen A, Swift F, de Vries D, Beck RMD, Kuderna LFK, Knauf S, Chuma IS, Keyyu JD, Kitchener AC, Farh K, Rogers J, Marques-Bonet T, Detwiler KM, Roos C, Guschanski K

Mol. Biol. Evol. 40 (12) - [2023-12-01; online 2023-11-21]

Understanding the drivers of speciation is fundamental in evolutionary biology, and recent studies highlight hybridization as an important evolutionary force. Using whole-genome sequencing data from 22 species of guenons (tribe Cercopithecini), one of the world's largest primate radiations, we show that rampant gene flow characterizes their evolutionary history and identify ancient hybridization across deeply divergent lineages that differ in ecology, morphology, and karyotypes. Some hybridization events resulted in mitochondrial introgression between distant lineages, likely facilitated by cointrogression of coadapted nuclear variants. Although the genomic landscapes of introgression were largely lineage specific, we found that genes with immune functions were overrepresented in introgressing regions, in line with adaptive introgression, whereas genes involved in pigmentation and morphology may contribute to reproductive isolation. In line with reports from other systems that hybridization might facilitate diversification, we find that some of the most species-rich guenon clades are of admixed origin. This study provides important insights into the prevalence, role, and outcomes of ancestral hybridization in a large mammalian radiation.

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PubMed 37987553

DOI 10.1093/molbev/msad247

Crossref 10.1093/molbev/msad247

pmc: PMC10691879
pii: 7439455

Publications 9.5.0