Special Issue "Hybridization and Genetics of Reproductive Isolation"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Karel Janko
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Interests: speciation; hybridization; population genomics; evolution of asexual reproduction; adaptation to extreme environments; polar ecology
Dr. Radka Reifová
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Czech Republic
Interests: speciation; hybridization; population genomics; evolutionary biology; sex chromosome evolution
Dr. Peter Mikulíček
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia
Interests: asexual vertebrates; population genetics; biogeography; herpetology

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

We would like to announce the upcoming Special Issue “Hybridization and Genetics of Reproductive Isolation”.

The formation and persistence of species has intrigued biologists since the pre-Darwinian era. Indeed, merging of two more or less diverged genomes may have a tremendous impact on the hybrid organism both at the genetic and phenotypic levels. On one side, hybrids may suffer from reduced fitness, which can create reproductive isolation between species. On the other side, hybridization may lead to the evolution of novel traits and the formation of new hybrid species. Current advances in sequencing technologies and bioinformatic tools have offered unprecedented possibilities to study consequences of interspecific hybridization. Nonetheless, still very little is known about proximate mechanisms that cause genetic and phenotypic changes in hybrids, ultimately translating into isolation of forming species or their emergence.
While the basis of the modifications in hybrids’ fitness has been traditionally sought in gene-to-gene interactions, it is now becoming clear that it is a multifaceted problem. It involves various issues such as incompatibilities originating through non-collinearity and/or non-homology of the merged genomes, expression deregulation owing to admixis of diverged regulatory networks including deregulation of transposable elements, altered epigenetic modifications, as well as genotype-by-environment interactions of novel hybrid forms. Contrary to classical speciation scenarios, it further appears that interspecific hybridization affects reproductive modes in hybrids in a more complex way than simply inducing hybrid sterility. For example, clonal reproduction appears to be triggered by hybridization and seems to play an important role in the establishment of reproductive isolation as well as of novel hybrid and polyploid lineages.

The announced issue therefore welcomes all contributions that shed light on genetic underpinnings of hybrid phenotypes and particularly causal mechanisms of decreased hybrids’ fitness and evolution of reproductive isolation between emerging species. We invite original articles presenting novel discoveries but welcome, in particular, review and opinion-type articles presenting novel syntheses and insights into the problematics.

Dr. Karel Janko
Dr. Radka Reifová
Dr. Peter Mikulíček
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • speciation
  • hybridization
  • polyploidy
  • gametogenesis
  • reproductive isolation
  • hybrid sterility
  • hybrid asexuality
  • gene regulatory networks
  • epigenetics
  • chromosome synapsis
  • genotype-by-environment interaction

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Review

Review
How Important Are Structural Variants for Speciation?
Genes 2021, 12(7), 1084; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12071084 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 931
Abstract
Understanding the genetic basis of reproductive isolation is a central issue in the study of speciation. Structural variants (SVs); that is, structural changes in DNA, including inversions, translocations, insertions, deletions, and duplications, are common in a broad range of organisms and have been [...] Read more.
Understanding the genetic basis of reproductive isolation is a central issue in the study of speciation. Structural variants (SVs); that is, structural changes in DNA, including inversions, translocations, insertions, deletions, and duplications, are common in a broad range of organisms and have been hypothesized to play a central role in speciation. Recent advances in molecular and statistical methods have identified structural variants, especially inversions, underlying ecologically important traits; thus, suggesting these mutations contribute to adaptation. However, the contribution of structural variants to reproductive isolation between species—and the underlying mechanism by which structural variants most often contribute to speciation—remain unclear. Here, we review (i) different mechanisms by which structural variants can generate or maintain reproductive isolation; (ii) patterns expected with these different mechanisms; and (iii) relevant empirical examples of each. We also summarize the available sequencing and bioinformatic methods to detect structural variants. Lastly, we suggest empirical approaches and new research directions to help obtain a more complete assessment of the role of structural variants in speciation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybridization and Genetics of Reproductive Isolation)
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