DOES NATURAL SELECTION AFFECT GENE FLOW BETWEEN NONNATIVE AND NATIVE RED FOX POPULATIONS?
Sophie Preckler-Quisquater; University of California, Davis; One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616; (530) 754-9088; squisquater@ucdavis.edu; Ben N. Sacks
The Sacramento Valley red fox (SVRF, Vulpes vulpes patwin) is endemic to the northern Central Valley of California. It is considered a State Species of Greatest Conservation Need due to its apparent decline in abundance from historical levels, low genetic effective population size, and its restricted distribution. Along with habitat loss, hybridization with nonnative red foxes of captive-bred origin has been identified as a threat to the SVRF. Genetic monitoring (2007-2018) indicated low levels of overall gene flow across a stable zone of hybridization. However, particular genes related to the unique evolutionary histories of the two populations (i.e. tameness, thermal tolerance, etc.) could be under positive or negative selection, which would result in their being transferred at far greater or lower rates than selectively neutral markers. Because these functional genes can often define populations, it is important to identify selectively shared genes. Using a reduced representation, genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach, we sequenced individuals from the native (n=43), nonnative (n=48), and hybrid (n=14) ranges as well as from reference populations (n=81). We identified thousands of high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and conducted outlier tests to identify genomic regions potentially under selection within the native and nonnative populations.
The Anthropocene: Speciation & Hybridization   Student Paper