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Data from: Introgression of mtDNA in Urosaurus lizards: historical and ecological processes

Cite this dataset

Haenel, Gregory J. (2016). Data from: Introgression of mtDNA in Urosaurus lizards: historical and ecological processes [Dataset]. Dryad.


Introgression of mtDNA appears common in animals but the implications of acquiring a novel mitochondrial genome are not well known. This study investigates mito-genome introgression between the lizard species Urosaurus graciosus, a thermal specialist, and U. ornatus, a species that occupies a wider range of thermal environments. As ectotherms, their metabolic rate is strongly influenced by the thermal environment; with mitochondria being linked to metabolic rates, overall energy budgets could be impacted by introgression. I use mitochondrial gene trees, inferred from Bayesian analyses of Cyt-B and ND1 gene sequences, along with morphology and microsatellites from nineteen populations of these two species to address if the direction and location of mito-nuclear discordance match predictions of introgression resulting from past population expansions. MtDNA is expected to move from resident species into expanding or invading species. Second, does having a heterospecific form of mitochondria impact body size, a trait strongly associated with fitness? Multiple independent introgression events of historic origin were detected. All introgression was unidirectional with U. ornatus-type mtDNA found in U. graciosus parental type individuals. This result was consistent with population expansions detected in U. graciosus but not U. ornatus. Females with heterospecific mtDNA were significantly smaller than homospecific forms and heterospecific males had a different relationship of body mass to body length than those with homospecific mtDNA. These changes indicate a potential selective disadvantage for individuals with heterospecific mitochondria and are consistent with the theoretical expectation that deleterious alleles are more likely to persist in expanding populations.

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Southwestern United States