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Data from: Origin of a cryptic lineage in a threatened reptile through isolation and historical hybridization

Citation

Sovic, Michael G.; Fries, Anthony C.; Gibbs, H. Lisle (2016), Data from: Origin of a cryptic lineage in a threatened reptile through isolation and historical hybridization, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nt65q

Abstract

Identifying phylogenetically distinct lineages and understanding the evolutionary processes by which they have arisen are important goals of phylogeography. This information can also help define conservation units in endangered species. Such analyses are being transformed by the availability of genomic-scale data sets and novel analytical approaches for statistically comparing different historical scenarios as causes of phylogeographic patterns. Here, we use genomic-scale restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) data to test for distinct lineages in the endangered Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus). We then use coalescent-based modeling techniques to identify the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for the origin of the lineages in this species. We find equivocal evidence for distinct phylogenetic lineages within S. catenatus east of the Mississippi River, but strong support for a previously unrecognized lineage on the western edge of the range of this snake, represented by populations from Iowa, USA. Snakes from these populations show patterns of genetic admixture with a nearby non-threatened sister species (Sistrurus tergeminus). Tests of historical demographic models support the hypothesis that the genetic distinctiveness of Iowa snakes is due to a combination of isolation and historical introgression between S. catenatus and S. tergeminus. Our work provides an example of how model-based analysis of genomic-scale data can help identify conservation units in rare species.

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