Codweb: Whole-genome sequencing uncovers extensive reticulations fueling adaptation among Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific gadids

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Science Advances  20 Mar 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 3, eaat8788
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat8788


Introgressive hybridization creates networks of genetic relationships across species. Among marine fish of the Gadidae family, Pacific cod and walleye pollock are separate invasions of an Atlantic cod ancestor into the Pacific. Cods are ecological success stories, and their ecologies allow them to support the largest fisheries of the world. The enigmatic walleye pollock differs morphologically, behaviorally, and ecologically from its relatives, representing a niche shift. Here, we apply whole-genome sequencing to Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic gadids and reveal extensive introgression among them with the ABBA-BABA test and pseudolikelihood phylogenetic network analysis. We propose that walleye pollock resulted from extensive adaptive introgression or homoploid hybrid speciation. The path of evolution of these taxa is more web than a tree. Their ability to invade and expand into new habitats and become ecologically successful may depend on genes acquired through adaptive introgression or hybrid speciation.

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