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Reinforcing Selection is Effective under a Relatively Broad Set of Conditions in a Mosaic Hybrid Zone

Michael L. Cain, Viggo Andreasen and Daniel J. Howard
Evolution
Vol. 53, No. 5 (Oct., 1999), pp. 1343-1353
DOI: 10.2307/2640881
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640881
Page Count: 11
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Reinforcing Selection is Effective under a Relatively Broad Set of Conditions in a Mosaic Hybrid Zone
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Abstract

Many hybrid zones have a mosaic structure, yet we know of no theoretical work that examines the impact of mosaicism on the outcome of evolution. We developed a computer simulation model designed to test whether the outcome of reinforcing selection differs in a mosaic and a clinal hybrid zone. Our model was a one-dimensional stepping-stone model. The mosaic and clinal hybrid zones that we modeled were, respectively, a mosaic maintained by differential fitness of the interacting taxa in patchy habitats and a tension zone. We modeled changes in gene frequency at two biallelic loci, A and B. Hybrids at the A locus were selected against. An allele at the B locus caused assortative mating at the A locus, which promoted reinforcement; there was a selective cost to this allele. In a mosaic hybrid zone, spatial variation in the fitness of A-locus homozygotes in different patches caused gene and genotype frequencies at the A and B loci to differ greatly from those in a tension zone. Compared to a tension zone, a mosaic hybrid zone had a broader region in which hybrids could be formed and, thus, a broader region in which the assortative-mating allele provided a net selective advantage (via decreased production of the less fit A-locus hybrids). This caused the assortative-mating allele to be favored under a broader set of conditions in a mosaic hybrid zone than in a tension zone. In mosaic and tension hybrid zones, both low and high levels of migration could prevent the establishment of the allele that promoted reinforcement, but the allele could establish under a wider range of migration rates in a mosaic than in a tension zone. In a tension zone, both low and high levels of selection against A-locus hybrids could prevent the establishment of the assortative-mating allele. In a mosaic hybrid zone, the assortative-mating allele established under lower levels of selection against hybrids than in a tension zone, and high levels of selection did not impede the establishment of this allele. Overall, our work illustrates how the structure of a hybrid zone can alter the outcome of an important evolutionary process, in this case, reinforcement.

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