Event Abstract

Is ancestral hybridization fuelling adaptive radiation in clownfishes?

  • 1 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2 Université de Perpignan Via Domitia, France

The contribution of hybridization in the generation of global species diversity has long been a subject of controversy among evolutionary biologists. However it is now increasingly accepted that hybridization has many impacts on the process of speciation. Especially, it is an important mechanism fostering adaptive radiation, because it can generate new phenotypic combinations enabling the occupancy of new niches. Here, we focused on clownfish (Pomacentridae), a clade of 28 coral reef fishes displaying a mutualistic interaction with sea anemones. This behavior is the key innovation that triggered adaptive radiation of clownfishes, as each species is able to occupy a different combination of host anemone species and habitat. Previous work suggested that hybridization might be responsible for the extant diversity of clownfish species. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed whole-genome datasets for each clownfish species. First, we reconstructed the phylogeny of the clade based on topology weighting method, which enables the visualization of the relationships between taxa across the genome. Then, we highlighted possible ancient hybridization events based on comparative genomic framework for detecting introgression in genomes. We highlighted a large amount of significant hybridization between the different clades, which suggests that hybridization occurred between the ancestors of the current species. Moreover, patterns of high heterogeneity in the phylogenetic relationships across the genome might be a consequence of the combined effect of extensive hybridization and polygenic barrier loci. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis of ancestral hybridization occurring during the evolutionary history of clownfishes.

Keywords: hybridization, speciation, adaptive radiation, Clownfish, Genomics

Conference: XVI European Congress of Ichthyology, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2 Sep - 6 Sep, 2019.

Presentation Type: Oral


Citation: Schmid S, Micheli B, Marcionetti A, Bertrand J and Salamin N (2019). Is ancestral hybridization fuelling adaptive radiation in clownfishes?. Front. Mar. Sci. Conference Abstract: XVI European Congress of Ichthyology. doi: 10.3389/conf.fmars.2019.07.00043

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Received: 29 May 2019; Published Online: 14 Aug 2019.

* Correspondence: Mx. Sarah Schmid, Université de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, sarah.schmid@unil.ch