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Chromosomal inversion polymorphisms are widespread across the species ranges of rough periwinkles (Littorina saxatilis and L. arcana) Running title: Widespread inversions in Littorina
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  • James Reeve,
  • Roger K Butlin,
  • Eva L Koch,
  • Sean Stankowski,
  • Rui Faria
James Reeve
University of Gothenburg, Tjärnö Marine Laboratory

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Roger K Butlin
School of Bioscience, University of Sheffield, University of Gothenburg, Tjärnö Marine Laboratory
Eva L Koch
Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
Sean Stankowski
Institute of Science and Technology -Austria
Rui Faria
Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, University of Porto, School of Bioscience, University of Sheffield


Inversions are thought to play a key role in adaptation and speciation, suppressing recombination between diverging populations. Genes influencing adaptive traits cluster in inversions, and changes in inversion frequencies associate with environmental differences. However, in many organisms it is unclear if inversions are geographically and taxonomically widespread. The intertidal snail, Littorina saxatilis, is one such example. Strong associations between putative polymorphic inversions and phenotypic differences have been demonstrated between two ecotypes of L. saxatilis in Sweden and inferred elsewhere, but no direct evidence for inversion polymorphism currently exists across the species range. Using whole genome data from 107 snails, most inversion polymorphisms were found to be widespread across the species range. Frequencies of some inversion arrangements were significantly different among ecotypes, suggesting a parallel adaptive role. Many inversions were also polymorphic in the sister species L. arcana, hinting at an ancient origin. 2 Introduction: