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Vive la résistance: genome-wide selection against introduced alleles in invasive hybrid zones

November 30, 2016

Evolutionary and ecological consequences of hybridization between native and invasive species are notoriously complicated because patterns of selection acting on non-native alleles can vary throughout the genome and across environments. Rapid advances in genomics now make it feasible to assess locus-specific and genome-wide patterns of natural selection acting on invasive introgression within and among natural populations occupying diverse environments. We quantified genome-wide patterns of admixture across multiple independent hybrid zones of native westslope cutthroat trout and invasive rainbow trout, the world's most widely introduced fish, by genotyping 339 individuals from 21 populations using 9380 species-diagnostic loci. A significantly greater proportion of the genome appeared to be under selection favouring native cutthroat trout (rather than rainbow trout), and this pattern was pervasive across the genome (detected on most chromosomes). Furthermore, selection against invasive alleles was consistent across populations and environments, even in those where rainbow trout were predicted to have a selective advantage (warm environments). These data corroborate field studies showing that hybrids between these species have lower fitness than the native taxa, and show that these fitness differences are due to selection favouring many native genes distributed widely throughout the genome.