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On the use of genome-wide data to model and date the time of anthropogenic hybridisation: an example from the Scottish wildcat
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  • Jo Howard-McCombe,
  • Daniel Ward,
  • Andrew Kitchener,
  • Dan Lawson,
  • Helen Senn,
  • Mark Beaumont
Jo Howard-McCombe
University of Bristol
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Daniel Ward
University of Bristol
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Andrew Kitchener
National Museums Scotland
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Dan Lawson
University of Bristol
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Helen Senn
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
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Mark Beaumont
University of Bristol
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Abstract

While hybridisation has long been recognised as an important natural phenomenon in evolution, the conservation of taxa subject to introgressive hybridisation from domesticated forms is a subject of intense debate. Hybridisation of the Scottish wildcat, the UK’s sole extant native felid, with the domestic cat is a good example in this regard. We develop a modelling framework to determine the timescale and mode of introgression using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). Applying the model to ddRAD-seq data from 129 individuals, genotyped at 6,546 loci, we show that a population of wildcats genetically distant from domestic cats is still present in Scotland, though these individuals are found almost exclusively within the captive breeding program. Most wild-living cats sampled were introgressed to some extent. Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of current methods that are used to classify hybrids. We show that an optimised 35 SNP panel is a better predictor of the ddRAD-based hybrid score in comparison with a morphological method.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

19 Feb 2021Submitted to Molecular Ecology
23 Feb 2021Submission Checks Completed
23 Feb 2021Assigned to Editor
02 Mar 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 Mar 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Mar 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
06 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 May 20211st Revision Received
07 May 2021Editorial Decision: Accept