The purpose of this project is to construct phylogenetic inference for the Italian wall lizard Podarcis muralis from SNP data (from RAD reads). This species has several identified subspecies and genetic lineages of different age in Europe. These lineages show unique genetic and phenotypic traits, by which they can be identified. More recently these lineages have come into secondary contact and successfully hybridize together. It is now known that certain suite of traits is sexually selected among the lineages during hybridization.
Phylogeographical relationships of the lineages needs to be resolved in order to answear how can suites of characters be transferred from one lineage to another without disrupting their integration? And what are the selective advantages and disadvantages that shape exchange of genes and characters between lineages?
The research will bring novel insights into how the structure of genomes shapes the direction of evolution by facilitating the spread of whole suites of characters from one lineage to another.