Evolutionary Rates of Bumblebee Genomes Are Faster at Lower Elevations
Lin, G; Huang, Z; Wang, L; Chen, Z; Zhang, T; Gillman, LN; Zhao, F
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The importance of climate in determining biodiversity patterns has been well documented. However, the relationship between climate and rates of genetic evolution remains controversial. Latitude and elevation have been associated with rates of change in genetic markers such as cytochrome b. What is not known, however, is the strength of such associations and whether patterns found among these genes apply across entire genomes. Here, using bumblebee genetic data from seven subgenera of Bombus, we demonstrate that all species occupying warmer elevations have undergone faster genome-wide evolution than those in the same subgenera occupying cooler elevations. Our findings point to a critical biogeographic role in the relative rates of whole species evolution, potentially influencing global biodiversity patterns.