Ecol Evol 9 (17) 9532-9545 [2019-09-00; online 2019-08-13]
Genetic diversity is shaped by mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, recombination, and selection. The dynamics and interactions of these forces shape genetic diversity across different parts of the genome, between populations and species. Here, we have studied the effects of linked selection on nucleotide diversity in outcrossing populations of two Brassicaceae species, Arabidopsis lyrata and Capsella grandiflora, with contrasting demographic history. In agreement with previous estimates, we found evidence for a modest population size expansion thousands of generations ago, as well as efficient purifying selection in C. grandiflora. In contrast, the A. lyrata population exhibited evidence for very recent strong population size decline and weaker efficacy of purifying selection. Using multiple regression analyses with recombination rate and other genomic covariates as explanatory variables, we can explain 47% of the variance in neutral diversity in the C. grandiflora population, while in the A. lyrata population, only 11% of the variance was explained by the model. Recombination rate had a significant positive effect on neutral diversity in both species, suggesting that selection at linked sites has an effect on patterns of neutral variation. In line with this finding, we also found reduced neutral diversity in the vicinity of genes in the C. grandiflora population. However, in A. lyrata no such reduction in diversity was evident, a finding that is consistent with expectations of the impact of a recent bottleneck on patterns of neutral diversity near genes. This study thus empirically demonstrates how differences in demographic history modulate the impact of selection at linked sites in natural populations.