February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Hybridization signals in Fucus diversification

Scientific Exhibition
Biodiversity Effects
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
17:30 to 19:30

Almeida, S. C. 1 Melo-Ferreira, J. 2 Serrão, E.A. 3 Cox, C.J. 4 Pearson, G.A. 5

1Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO)
3Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
4Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
5Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

Analysing the role of hybridization in speciation processes is of key importance for understanding extant patterns of biodiversity. Patterns of hybridization may reflect different pathways of the evolutionary history of species that can be related to biogeographic processes. Additionally, it may have ecological consequences for ecosystems assemblages. Hybridization between closely related species is known to occur in many taxa, but the extent to which it blurs species boundaries or results in the evolution of new lineages, remains unclear. Coastal ecosystems in the eastern North Atlantic harbour great biological diversity, where groups of related cold-temperate species co-occur, and is thus an excellent system for studying relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The marine genus Fucus includes some key foundational species that are vital ecosystem engineers throughout its wide distribution on North Atlantic rocky intertidal shores. A recently described species, Fucus guiryi reveals signals of introgressive hybridization in the northern part of its range involving the sister group F. vesiculosus/F. spiralis where these occur in sympatry. In contrast, it occurs in allopatry in its southern distribution range. The extent of nuclear introgression and its contribution to adaptive divergence remains unknown, requiring new genome-wide approaches to detection and analysis. Understanding the contribution of genomic hybridization on diversification processes presents a great challenge, which will provide a knowledge base to test the ecological implications of cryptic diversity across biogeographic scales and to better understand processes involving interspecific gene flow. Using high-throughput techniques and phylogenomic methods, we aim to determine the degree to which hybrid diversification exists in nature by testing the extent of hybridization across populations throughout the allopatric and sympatric distributional ranges of both parental and putative hybrid lineages.
keywords: 
hybridization, Fucus, North Atlantic, RNA-seq, cryptic diversity

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