5 years ago

Genomic signatures of paleodrainages in a freshwater fish along the southeastern coast of Brazil: genetic structure reflects past riverine properties

A T Thomaz, L L Knowles, L R Malabarba

Past shifts in connectivity in riverine environments (for example, sea-level changes) and the properties of current drainages can act as drivers of genetic structure and demographic processes in riverine population of fishes. However, it is unclear whether the same river properties that structure variation on recent timescales will also leave similar genomic signatures that reflect paleodrainage properties. By characterizing genetic structure in a freshwater fish species (Hollandichthys multifasciatus) from a system of basins along the Atlantic coast of Brazil we test for the effects of paleodrainages caused by sea-level changes during the Pleistocene. Given that the paleodrainage properties differ along the Brazilian coast, we also evaluate whether estimated genetic diversity within paleodrainages can be explained by past riverine properties (i.e., area and number of rivers in a paleodrainage). Our results demonstrate that genetic structure between populations is not just highly concordant with paleodrainages, but that differences in the genetic diversity among paleodrainages correspond to the joint effect of differences in the area encompassed by, and the number of rivers, within a paleodrainage. Our findings extend the influence of current riverine properties on genetic diversity to those associated with past paleodrainage properties. We discuss how these findings may explain the inconsistent support for paleodrainages in structuring divergence from different global regions and the importance of taking into account past conditions for understanding the high species diversity of freshwater fish that we currently observe in the world, and especially in the Neotropics.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2017.46

DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2017.46

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