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Reduced inbreeding depression after species range expansion

Pujol, Benoit, Zhou, Shu-Rong, Sanchez Vilas, Julia and Pannell, John R. 2009. Reduced inbreeding depression after species range expansion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (36) , pp. 15379-15383. 10.1073/pnas.0902257106

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Many species expanded their geographic ranges from core “refugium” populations when the global climate warmed after the Pleistocene. The bottlenecks that occur during such range expansions diminish genetic variation in marginal populations, rendering them less responsive to selection. Here, we show that range expansion also strongly depletes inbreeding depression. We compared inbreeding depression among 20 populations across the expanded range of a common European plant, and found that marginal populations had greatly reduced inbreeding depression. Similar patterns were also revealed by multilocus computer simulations. Low inbreeding depression is predicted to ease conditions for the evolution of self-fertilization, and selfing is known to be particularly frequent in marginal populations. Therefore, our findings expose a remarkable aspect of evolution at range margins, where a history of expansion can reverse the direction of selection on the mating system, providing a parsimonious explanation for the high incidence of selfing in marginal populations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Uncontrolled Keywords: genetic bottleneck; mating system; phenotypic performance; self fertilization; range margins
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 0027-8424
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:37

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