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Inferences of selection and migration in the Danish house mouse hybrid zone

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We analysed the patterns of allele frequency change for ten diagnostic autosomal allozyme loci in the hybrid zone between the house mouse subspecies Mus musculus domesticus and M. m. musculus in central Jutland. After determining the general orientation of the clines of allele frequencies, we analysed the cline shapes along the direction of maximum gradient. Eight of the ten clines are best described by steep central steps with coincident positions and an average width of 8.9 km (support limits 7.6–12.4) flanked by tails of introgression, indicating the existence of a barrier to gene flow and only weak selection on the loci studied. We derived estimates of migration from linkage disequilibrium in the centre of the zone, and by applying isolation by distance methods to microsatellite data from some of these populations. These give concordant estimates of  =  0.5–0.8 km generation . The barrier to gene flow is of the order of 20 km (support limits 14–28), and could be explained by selection of a few per cent at 43–120 underdominant loci that reduces the mean fitness in the central populations to 0.45. Some of the clines appear symmetrical, whereas others are strongly asymmetrical, and two loci appear to have escaped the central barrier to gene flow, reflecting the differential action of selection on different parts of the genome. Asymmetry is always in the direction of more introgression into musculus, indicating either a general progression of domesticus into the musculus territory, possibly mediated by differential behaviour, or past movement of the hybrid zone in the opposite direction, impeded by potential geographical barriers to migration in domesticus territory. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2005, 84, 593–616.
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Keywords: Mus musculus domesticus; Mus musculus musculus; gene flow; genetic barrier; hybridization; speciation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire Génome Populations Interactions Adaptation (UMR 5171 IFREMER-CNRS-UMII), and 2: Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution (UMR 5554 CNRS-UMII), Université Montpellier II, France

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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