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Pleistocene divergence in the absence of gene flow among populations of a viviparous reptile with intraspecific variation in sex determination


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Hill, PL ORCID: 0000-0002-6190-6426, Wapstra, E ORCID: 0000-0002-2050-8026, Ezaz, T and Burridge, CP ORCID: 0000-0002-8185-6091 2021 , 'Pleistocene divergence in the absence of gene flow among populations of a viviparous reptile with intraspecific variation in sex determination' , Ecology and Evolution , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1002/ece3.7458.

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Polymorphisms can lead to genetic isolation if there is differential mating success among conspecifics divergent for a trait. Polymorphism for sex‐determining system may fall into this category, given strong selection for the production of viable males and females and the low success of heterogametic hybrids when sex chromosomes differ (Haldane's rule). Here we investigated whether populations exhibiting polymorphism for sex determination are genetically isolated, using the viviparous snow skink Carinascincus ocellatus. While a comparatively high elevation population has genotypic sex determination, in a lower elevation population there is an additional temperature component to sex determination. Based on 11,107 SNP markers, these populations appear genetically isolated. “Isolation with Migration” analysis also suggests these populations diverged in the absence of gene flow, across a period encompassing multiple Pleistocene glaciations and likely greater geographic proximity of populations. However, further experiments are required to establish whether genetic isolation may be a cause or consequence of differences in sex determination. Given the influence of temperature on sex in one lineage, we also discuss the implications for the persistence of this polymorphism under climate change.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hill, PL and Wapstra, E and Ezaz, T and Burridge, CP
Keywords: genetic sex determination, GSD, Niveoscincus, sex chromosome, temperature-dependent sex determination, TSD
Journal or Publication Title: Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISSN: 2045-7758
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/ece3.7458
Copyright Information:

© 2021 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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