Widespread selection and gene flow shape the genomic landscape during a radiation of monkeyflowers


Speciation genomic studies aim to interpret patterns of genome-wide variation in light of the processes that give rise to new species. However, interpreting the genomic “landscape” of speciation is difficult, because many evolutionary processes can impact levels of variation. Facilitated by the first chromosome-level assembly for the group, we use whole-genome sequencing and simulations to shed light on the processes that have shaped the genomic landscape during a radiation of monkeyflowers. After inferring the phylogenetic relationships among the 9 taxa in this radiation, we show that highly similar diversity (π) and differentiation (FST) landscapes have emerged across the group. Variation in these landscapes was strongly predicted by the local density of functional elements and the recombination rate, suggesting that the landscapes have been shaped by widespread natural selection. Using the varying divergence times between pairs of taxa, we show that the correlations between FST and genome features arose almost immediately after a population split and have become stronger over time. Simulations of genomic landscape evolution suggest that background selection (BGS; i.e., selection against deleterious mutations) alone is too subtle to generate the observed patterns, but scenarios that involve positive selection and genetic incompatibilities are plausible alternative explanations. Finally, tests for introgression among these taxa reveal widespread evidence of heterogeneous selection against gene flow during this radiation. Combined with previous evidence for adaptation in this system, we conclude that the correlation in FST among these taxa informs us about the processes contributing to adaptation and speciation during a rapid radiation.

PLOS Biology