The spatial scale of genetic differentiation in a model organism: the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2006 Nov 29;361(1475):1941-6. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2006.1922.


Little information is presently available on the factors promoting genetic divergence in eukaryotic microbes. We studied the spatial distribution of genetic variation in Saccharomyces paradoxus, the wild relative of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, from the scale of a few centimetres on individual oak trees to thousands of kilometers across different continents. Genealogical analysis of six loci shows that isolates from Europe form a single recombining population, and within this population genetic differentiation increases with physical distance. Between different continents, strains are more divergent and genealogically independent, indicating well-differentiated lineages that may be in the process of speciation. Such replicated populations will be useful for studies in population genomics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Demography*
  • Genes, Fungal / genetics
  • Genetic Speciation*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Geography
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Saccharomyces / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA