Population genomics of wall lizards reflects the dynamic history of the Mediterranean Basin

Weizhao Yang, Nathalie Feiner, Daniele Salvi, Hanna Laakkonen, Daniel Jablonski, Catarina Pinho, Miguel A Carretero, Roberto Sacchi, Marco A. L. Zuffi, Stefano Scali, Konstantinos Plavos, Panayiotis Pafilis, Nikos Poulakakis, Petros Lymberakis, David Jandzik, Ulrich Schulte, Fabien Aubret, Arnaud Badiane, Guillem Pérez i de Lanuza, Javier AbalosGeoffrey M. While, Tobias Uller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The Mediterranean Basin has experienced extensive change in geology and climate over the past six million years. Yet, the relative importance of key geological events for the distribution and genetic structure of the Mediterranean fauna remains poorly understood. Here, we use population genomic and phylogenomic analyses to establish the evolutionary history and genetic structure of common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis). This species is particularly informative because, in contrast to other Mediterranean lizards, it is widespread across the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan Peninsulas, and in extra-Mediterranean regions. We found strong support for six major lineages within P. muralis, which were largely discordant with the phylogenetic relationship of mitochondrial DNA. The most recent common ancestor of extant P. muralis was likely distributed in the Italian Peninsula, and experienced an "Out-of-Italy" expansion following the Messinian salinity crisis (similar to 5 Mya), resulting in the differentiation into the extant lineages on the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan Peninsulas. Introgression analysis revealed that both inter- and intraspecific gene flows have been pervasive throughout the evolutionary history of P. muralis. For example, the Southern Italy lineage has a hybrid origin, formed through admixture between the Central Italy lineage and an ancient lineage that was the sister to all other P. muralis. More recent genetic differentiation is associated with the onset of the Quaternary glaciations, which influenced population dynamics and genetic diversity of contemporary lineages. These results demonstrate the pervasive role of Mediterranean geology and climate for the evolutionary history and population genetic structure of extant species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number311
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume39
Issue number1
Number of pages13
ISSN0737-4038
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • phylogeography
  • phylogenomics
  • introgression
  • refugia
  • glaciation
  • Messinian salinity crisis
  • MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA
  • PODARCIS-MURALIS
  • GENETIC CONSEQUENCES
  • GLACIAL REFUGIA
  • REVEALS
  • MODEL
  • TREE
  • PHYLOGEOGRAPHY
  • DISCORDANCE
  • SPECIATION

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