Hierarchical behaviour, habitat use and species size differences shape evolutionary outcomes of hybridization in a coral reef fish

Gainsford, A., Van Herwerden, L., and Jones, G.P. (2015) Hierarchical behaviour, habitat use and species size differences shape evolutionary outcomes of hybridization in a coral reef fish. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28 (1). pp. 205-222.

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Hybridization is an important evolutionary process, with ecological and behavioural factors influencing gene exchange between hybrids and parent species. Patterns of hybridization in anemonefishes may result from living in highly specialized habitats and breeding status regulated by size-based hierarchal social groups. Here, morphological, ecological and genetic analyses in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, examine the hybrid status of Amphiprion leucokranos, a nominal species and presumed hybrid between Amphiprion sandaracinos and Amphiprion chrysopterus. We test the hypothesis that habitat use and relative size differences of the parent species and hybrids determine the patterns of gene exchange. There is strong evidence that A. leucokranos is a hybrid of smaller A. sandaracinos and larger A. chrysopterus, where A. chrysopterus is exclusively the mother to each hybrid, based on mtDNA cytochrome b and multiple nDNA microsatellite loci. Overlap in habitat, depth and host anemone use was found, with hybrids intermediate to parents and cohabitation in over 25% of anemones sampled. Hybrids, intermediate in body size, colour and pattern, were classified 55% of the time as morphologically first-generation hybrids relative to parents, whereas 45% of hybrids were more A. sandaracinos-like, suggesting backcrossing. Unidirectional introgression of A. chrysopterus mtDNA into A. sandaracinos via hybrid backcrosses was found, with larger female hybrids and small male A. sandaracinos mating. Potential nDNA introgression was also evident through distinct intermediate hybrid genotypes penetrating both parent species. Findings support the hypothesis that anemonefish hierarchical behaviour, habitat use and species-specific size differences determine how hybrids form and the evolutionary consequences of hybridization.

Item ID: 37649
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1420-9101
Keywords: amphiprion leucokranos; asymmetric behavioural isolation; reproductive barrier; size-based hierarchy; unidirectional introgression
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 3 of the following PhD thesis: Gainsford, Ashton (2016) A multi-disciplinary evaluation of the hybrid anemonefish Amphiprion leucokranos: behaviour shaping evolutionary outcomes of hybridization. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation, College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Research Data: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m1503
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2015 03:20
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 10%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 40%
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