Signals of Adaptive Introgression Between Saltmarsh and Nelson’s Sparrows

Postdoc Jen Walsh is the lead on a new study published in Evolution that leverages whole genome data from Saltmarsh and Nelson’s sparrows to investigate the genomic landscape of introgression between these species. By comparing populations in allopatry and sympatry, Jen’s paper shows that contemporary introgression is shaping the genomic landscape – with allopatric populations exhibiting genome-wide FST estimates close to double of that observed in sympatry. She also identified regions of the genome that exhibited biased introgression into hybrids from one parental species. These regions offer compelling candidates for genes related to tidal marsh adaptations, suggesting that adaptive introgression may be an important consequence of hybridization between Saltmarsh and Nelson’s sparrows.
 
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