TitleAdaptive Genetic Exchange: A Tangled History of Admixture and Evolutionary Innovation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsArnold ML, Kunte K
JournalTrends Ecol Evol
Date Published2017 Jun 20

Genetic exchange between divergent evolutionary lineages, from introgressive hybridization between locally adapted populations to insertion of retroviral sequences into eukaryotic genomes, has now been documented. The detection of frequent divergence-with-gene-flow contrasts the neo-Darwinian paradigm of largely allopatric diversification. Nevertheless, of even greater significance is the growing wealth of data suggesting that the recipients of the transferred genomic material gain adaptive phenotypes from the donor lineages. This adaptive enrichment is reflected by changes in pathogenicity in viruses and bacteria, the transformation of ecological amplitude in eukaryotes, and adaptive radiations in extremely diverse lineages. Although genetic exchange may produce maladaptive consequences, most of the recently reported examples suggest increases in fitness, and many such adaptive trait transfers have been identified in our own species.

Alternate JournalTrends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.)
PubMed ID28645486