Large-scale phylogenomics uncovers a complex evolutionary history and extensive ancestral gene flow in an African primate radiation : [Preprint]

Understanding the drivers of speciation is fundamental in evolutionary biology, and recent studies highlight hybridization as a potential facilitator of adaptive radiations. Using wholegenome sequencing data from 22 species of guenons (tribe Cercopithecini), one of the world’s largest primate radiations, we show that rampant gene flow characterizes their evolutionary history, and identify ancient hybridization across deeply divergent lineages differing in ecology, morphology and karyotypes. Lineages experiencing gene flow tend to be more species-rich than non-admixed lineages. Mitochondrial transfers between distant lineages were likely facilitated by co-introgression of co-adapted nuclear variants. Although the genomic landscapes of introgression were largely lineage specific, we found that genes with immune functions were overrepresented in introgressing regions, in line with adaptive introgression, whereas genes involved in pigmentation and morphology may contribute to 
reproductive isolation. This study provides important insights into the prevalence, role and outcomes of ancestral hybridization in a large mammalian radiation.

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