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Divergent island hybrids mixing waves of ancient gene flow
  • Silu Wang
Silu Wang
University at Buffalo

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Salter et al. (2023) discovered that the Cuban Northern Bobwhite subspecies, Colinus virginianus cubanensis (Gould, 1850), is an ancient hybrid population formed due to historical hybridization between lineages from divergent spatiotemporal origins. Slater et al. sequenced genomes extracted from contemporary samples of Northern Bobwhites, as well as historical museum specimens with the oldest specimens dated in 1859. With this data, they reconstructed the evolutionary origin and history of C.v. cubanensis by combining historical literature with demographic modeling. The demographic model revealed the hybrid origin of the C.v. cubanensis from hybridization between divergent lineages. The Bobwhite first arrived in Cuba between the 12th and 16th centuries from Southern Mexico. Then the secondary gene flow from the Southeastern USA occurred between the 18th and 20th centuries (Figure 1). C.v. cubanensis are hybrids with mixed ancestries while possessing unique genetic variants, which confirm the subspecies status. Hybridization can be a creative process generating and maintaining genetic diversity over space and time.
25 Sep 2023Submitted to Molecular Ecology
26 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
26 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
26 Sep 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Sep 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned