Evidence for widespread selection in shaping the genomic landscape during speciation of Populus
Increasing our understanding of how various evolutionary processes drive the genomic landscape of variation is fundamental to a better understanding of the genomic consequences of speciation. However, the genome-wide patterns of within- and between-species variation have not been fully investigated in most forest tree species despite their global ecological and economic importance. Here, we use whole-genome resequencing data from four Populus species spanning the speciation continuum to reconstruct their demographic histories, investigate patterns of diversity and divergence, infer their genealogical relationships and estimate the extent of ancient introgression across the genome. Our results show substantial variation in these patterns along the genomes although this variation is not randomly distributed but is strongly predicted by the local recombination rates and the density of functional elements. This implies that the interaction between recurrent selection and intrinsic genomic features has dramatically sculpted the genomic landscape over long periods of time. In addition, our findings provide evidence that, apart from background selection, recent positive selection and long-term balancing selection are also crucial components in shaping patterns of genome-wide variation during the speciation process.
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