Genealogical footprints of speciation processes in wild tomatoes: demography and evidence for historical gene flow

Evolution. 2005 Jun;59(6):1268-79.


Multilocus studies assessing patterns of nucleotide polymorphism within and among closely related species provide access to genealogical information bearing on demographic and geographic aspects of their speciation history. However, the technical difficulties in obtaining sufficient sequence data have severely limited this approach thus far, especially in outbred plant taxa. We employ the analytical framework of divergence population genetics in testing the isolation model of speciation in three self-incompatible species of wild tomatoes (clade Lycopersicon), in particular the assumption of divergence without gene flow. Based on DNA sequence data for 13 nuclear loci, average levels of silent polymorphism vary more than three-fold among species. We estimate a large effective population size for the ancestral species, quite similar to that of the highly polymorphic L. peruvianum. The other two species, however, exhibit concordant signatures of population-size reduction. These demographic inferences are biologically plausible and consistent with results obtained from standard neutrality tests. While the isolation model cannot be rejected by goodness-of-fit criteria, patterns of intragenic linkage disequilibrium in L. peruvianum are indicative of historical introgression at least in some regions of the genome. Considered jointly with the geographic pattern of postzygotic reproductive isolation, our results suggest that speciation occurred under residual gene flow, implying natural selection as one of the evolutionary forces driving the diversification of tomato lineages.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Demography*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Genotype
  • Geography
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Population Density
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • South America
  • Species Specificity