Postdoctoral Research with Primula

Studies have suggested that parts of the genome are differentially affected by introgression as a result of hybridization, with some regions being resistant to gene flow while others are exchanged freely between related species. However, distinguishing between differential introgression and evolutionary processes, such as incomplete lineage sorting, historical gene flow, and genetic drift, that equally shape the heterogeneous genomic landscape requires the integration of both macro- and micro-evolutionary approaches, but studies are limited. To address this gap, we present the largest, most inclusive study, using the model plant system Primula (Primulaceae).

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Methods

This is being accomplished through extensive sampling spanning the entire range of our study system (~660 individuals in seven species), in conjunction with resequencing of whole genomes utilizing the high quality reference genome currently available within of study system (P. veris). Our downstream analyses will include both phylogenomic analyses (e.g., RAxML, ASTRAL, SNAQ, PhyloNet) and inference of ancient gene flow (ABC, ADMIXTURE).

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Results

The planned research will generate new knowledge on the genomics of hybridization at levels of resolution unprecedented in plants, due to intensive sampling at multiple temporal (from phylogenomic to population genomic) and geographic scales (from allopatric to sympatric comparisons), replicate comparisons between species pairs with different strengths and directionality of crossability and reproductive isolation, and availability of a reference genome and linkage maps in the model system.

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Significance

In total, this research will provide innovative contributions to the growing field of hybridization and speciation studies.