The role of introgression during the radiation of endemic fishes adapted to living at extreme altitudes in the Tibetan Plateau.

Molecular biology and evolution(2023)

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Recent genomic analyses of evolutionary radiations suggest that ancient introgression may facilitate rapid diversification and adaptive radiation. The loach genus Triplophysa, a genus with most species endemic to Tibetan plateau, shows ecological diversity and rapid evolution, and represents a potential example of adaptive radiation linked to the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau. Here, we interrogate the complex evolutionary history of Triplophysa fishes through the analysis of whole-genome sequences. By reconstructing the phylogeny of Triplophysa, quantifying introgression across this clade, and simulating speciation and migration processes, we confirm that extensive gene flow events occurred across disparate Triplophysa species. Our results suggest that introgression plays a more substantial role than incomplete lineage sorting in underpinning phylogenetic discordance in Triplophysa. The results also indicate that genomic regions affected by ancient gene flow exhibit characteristics of lower recombination rates and nucleotide diversity and may associate with selection. Simulation analysis of T. tibetana suggests that the species may have been affected by the Gonghe Movement in the third uplift of the Tibetan plateau, resulting in founder effects and a subsequent reduction in Ne.
endemic fishes,radiation,extreme altitudes,introgression
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