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Epigenetic induction may speed up or slow down speciation with gene flow: code and data


Greenspoon, Philip; Spencer, Hamish; M'Gonigle, Leithen (2022), Epigenetic induction may speed up or slow down speciation with gene flow: code and data, Dryad, Dataset,


Speciation is less likely to occur when there is gene flow between nascent species.  Natural selection can oppose gene flow and promote speciation if there is variation in ecological conditions among the nascent species' locations.  Previous theory on ecological speciation with gene flow has focused primarily on the role of genetic variation in ecological traits, largely neglecting the role of non-genetic inheritance or transgenerational plasticity.  Here we present the simulation code and data from models incorporating both genetic and epigenetic inheritance, the latter representing a form of non-genetic inheritance.  We investigate the rate of speciation for a population that inhabits two patches, connected by migration, and find that adaptively-biased epigenetic induction can speed up or slow down speciation, depending on the form of the map from genotype and epigenotype to phenotype. While adaptively-relevant epigenetic variation can speed up speciation by reducing the fitness of migrants and hybrids, it can also slow down speciation. This latter effect occurs when the epialleles are able to achieve adaptation faster than the genetic alleles, thereby weakening selection on the latter.

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Please see the "README_description_of_data.pdf" file for description of data.


Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Award: UOO1612

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada