Variations in the frequency and extent of hybridization among mixed populations located in the same contact zone provide natural laboratories for the study of extrinsic reproductive isolation maintaining species integrity. In this study, we examined the pattern of hybridization between L. japonicum and L. stellipilum among mixed populations in different localities of a contact zone. The genetic structures from three sympatric populations and six mixed populations in the hybrid zone, and five reference populations far from the contact zone, were characterized using 10 neutral nuclear microsatellite markers. Evidence from genetic distance-based clustering analysis, the frequency distribution of admixture proportion values, and the hybrid category assignment approaches indicated that the frequency and extent of hybridization varied considerably among populations in the contact zone between L. japonicum and L. stellipilum. One likely explanation is that variation in exogenous (ecological) selection among populations might contribute to differences in frequency and extent of hybridization. The present study will facilitate future research exploring the evolution of reproductive isolation between L. japonicum and L. stellipilum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)