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Spatial genetic structure patterns of phenotype-limited and boundary-limited expanding populations: a simulation study

Dai, Qiang, Zhan, Xiangjiang, Lu, Bib, Fu, Jinzhong, Wang, Qian and Qi, Dunwu 2014. Spatial genetic structure patterns of phenotype-limited and boundary-limited expanding populations: a simulation study. PLoS ONE 9 (1) , e85778. 10.1371/journal.pone.0085778

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Range expansions may create a unique spatial genetic pattern characterized by alternate genetically homogeneous domains and allele frequency clines. Previous attempts to model range expansions have mainly focused on the loss of genetic diversity during expansions. Using individual-based models, we examined spatial genetic patterns under two expansion scenarios, boundary-limited range expansions (BLRE) and phenotype-limited range expansions (PhLRE). Our simulation revealed that the genetic diversity within populations lost quickly during the range expansion, while the genetic difference accumulated between populations. Consequently, accompanying the expansions, the overall diversity featured a slow decrease. Specifically, during BLREs, high speed of boundary motion facilitated the maintenance of total genetic diversity and sharpened genetic clines. Very slight constraints on boundary motion of BLREs drastically narrowed the homogeneous domains and increased the allele frequency fluctuations from those levels exhibited by PhLREs. Even stronger constraints, however, surprisingly brought the width of homogeneous domains and the allele frequency fluctuations back to the normal levels of PhLREs. Furthermore, high migration rates maintained a higher total genetic diversity than low ones did during PhLREs. Whereas, the total genetic diversities during BLREs showed a contrary pattern: higher when migration was low than those when migration was high. Besides, the increase of migration rates helped maintain a greater number of homogeneous domains during PhLREs, but their effects on the number of homogeneous domains during BLREs were not monotonous. Previous studies have showed that the homogenous domains can merge to form a few broad domains as the expansion went on, leading to fewer homogeneous domains. Our simulations, meanwhile, revealed that the range expansions could also rebuild homogeneous domains from the clines during the range expansion. It is possible that that the number of homogeneous domains was determined by the interaction of merging and newly emerging homogeneous domains.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Additional Information: © 2014 Dai et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 7 December 2013
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 04:19

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