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Widespread secondary contact and new glacial refugia in the Halophilic Rotifer Brachionus Plicatilis in the Iberian Peninsula

Campillo, Sergi; Serra, Manuel; Carmona, María José; Gómez, Africa


Sergi Campillo

Manuel Serra

María José Carmona


Corrie S. Moreau


Small aquatic organisms harbour deep phylogeographic patterns and highly structured populations even at local scales. These patterns indicate restricted gene flow, despite these organisms' high dispersal abilities, and have been explained by a combination of (1) strong founder effects due to rapidly growing populations and very large population sizes, and (2) the development of diapausing egg banks and local adaptation, resulting in low effective gene flow, what is known as the Monopolization hypothesis. In this study, we build up on our understanding of the mitochondrial phylogeography of the halophilic rotifer Brachionus plicatilis in the Iberian Peninsula by both increasing the number of sampled ponds in areas where secondary contact is likely and doubling sample sizes. We analyzed partial mitochondrial sequences of 252 individuals. We found two deep mitochondrial DNA lineages differing in both their genetic diversity and the complexity of their phylogeographic structure. Our analyses suggest that several events of secondary contact between clades occurred after their expansion from glacial refugia. We found a pattern of isolation-by-distance, which we interpret as being the result of historical colonization events. We propose the existence of at least one glacial refugium in the SE of the Iberian Peninsula. Our findings challenge predictions of the Monopolization hypothesis, since coexistence (i.e., secondary contact) of divergent lineages in some ponds in the Iberian Peninsula is common. Our results indicate that phylogeographic structures in small organisms can be very complex and that gene flow between diverse lineages after population establishment can indeed occur.


Campillo, S., Serra, M., Carmona, M. J., & Gómez, A. (2011). Widespread secondary contact and new glacial refugia in the Halophilic Rotifer Brachionus Plicatilis in the Iberian Peninsula. PLoS ONE, 6(6), e20986.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 17, 2011
Online Publication Date Jun 16, 2011
Publication Date Jun 22, 2011
Publicly Available Date Sep 28, 2018
Journal PLOS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 6
Pages e20986
Keywords General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; General Agricultural and Biological Sciences; General Medicine
Public URL
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Copyright Statement
© 2011 Campillo 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.

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