Purifying selection does not drive signatures of convergent local adaptation of lodgepole pine and interior spruce.
Lu Mengmeng, Hodgins Kathryn A, Degner Jon C, Yeaman Sam
BMC evolutionary biology
Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and interior spruce (Picea glauca, Picea engelmannii, and their hybrids) are distantly related conifer species. Previous studies identified 47 genes containing variants associated with environmental variables in both species, providing evidence of convergent local adaptation. However, if the intensity of purifying selection varies with the environment, clines in nucleotide diversity could evolve through linked (background) selection that would yield allele frequency-environment signatures resembling local adaptation. If similar geographic patterns in the strength of purifying selection occur in these species, this could result in the convergent signatures of local adaptation, especially if the landscape of recombination is conserved. In the present study, we investigated whether spatially/environmentally varying purifying selection could give rise to the convergent signatures of local adaptation that had previously reported.