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Natural selection and intrinsic barriers play important roles in speciation of two closely related Populus (Salicaceae) species
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  • Yang Tian,
  • Shuyu Liu,
  • Pär Ingvarsson,
  • Dandan Zhao,
  • Li Wang,
  • Baoerjiang Abuduhamiti,
  • Zhiqiang Wu,
  • Jian-Guo ZHANG,
  • Zhaoshan Wang
Yang Tian
Chinese Academy of Forestry Research Institute of Forestry
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Shuyu Liu
Chinese Academy of Forestry Research Institute of Forestry
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Pär Ingvarsson
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
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Dandan Zhao
Chinese Academy of Forestry Research Institute of Forestry
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Li Wang
Chinese Academy of Forestry Research Institute of Forestry
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Baoerjiang Abuduhamiti
Chinese Academy of Forestry Research Institute of Forestry
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Zhiqiang Wu
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences Agricultural Genomes Institute at Shenzhen
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Jian-Guo ZHANG
Chinese Academy of Forestry Research Institute of Forestry
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Zhaoshan Wang
Chinese Academy of Forestry Research Institute of Forestry
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Abstract

Despite the growing number of recent studies on genome-wide divergence during speciation, the genetic basis and mechanisms of genomic divergence are still incompletely understood. In most species, natural selection plays a key role in heterogeneous genomic divergence. Additionally, intrinsic barriers, such as chromosomal rearrangements or gene incompatibilities, can also cause genomic heterogeneity. Based on whole genome re-sequencing data from 27 Populus alba and 28 P. adenopoda individuals, we explored the reasons for heterogeneous genomic divergence of these two closely related species. The results showed that the two species diverged ~5-10 million years ago (Mya), when the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau reached a certain height and the inland climate of the Asian continent became arid, which is associated with the fact that the two species begin to diverge and eventually led to speciation. In highly differentiated regions, the absolute divergence (dxy) was significantly higher than genomic background, and relative and absolute divergence were highly correlated, which indicates that intrinsic barriers played an important role in maintaining genomic heterogeneous divergence. Additionally, θπ and shared polymorphisms decreased while fixed differences increased in highly differentiated regions, which are characteristics of natural selection. The above description indicates that the combination of intrinsic barriers and natural selection result in heterogeneous genomic divergence and reproductive isolation. We further found some genes that are related to reproduction may be involved in explaining the reproductive isolation of the two species.