Inferring the geographic mode of speciation by contrasting autosomal and sex-linked genetic diversity

Jui Hua Chu, Daniel Wegmann, Chia Fen Yeh, Rong Chien Lin, Xiao Jun Yang, Fu Min Lei, Cheng Te Yao, Fa Sheng Zou, Shou Hsien Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


When geographic isolation drives speciation, concurrent termination of gene flow among genomic regions will occur immediately after the formation of the barrier between diverging populations. Alternatively, if speciation is driven by ecologically divergent selection, gene flow of selectively neutral genomic regions may go on between diverging populations until the completion of reproductive isolation. It may also lead to an unsynchronized termination of gene flow between genomic regions with different roles in the speciation process. Here, we developed a novel Approximate Bayesian Computation pipeline to infer the geographic mode of speciation by testing for a lack of postdivergence gene flow and a concurrent termination of gene flow in autosomal and sex-linked markers jointly. We applied this approach to infer the geographic mode of speciation for two allopatric highland rosefinches, the vinaceous rosefinch Carpodacus vinaceus and the Taiwan rosefinch C. formosanus from DNA polymorphisms of both autosomal and Z-linked loci. Our results suggest that the two rosefinch species diverged allopatrically approximately 0.5 Ma. Our approach allowed us further to infer that female effective population sizes are about five times larger than those of males, an estimate potentially useful when comparing the intensity of sexual selection across species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2519-2530
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov


  • Allopatric speciation
  • Approximate bayesian computation
  • Carpodacus formosanus
  • Carpodacus vinaceus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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