Whether hybridization limits or sparks adaptive diversification is debated. In mammals, genetic incompatibilities evolve fast, seemingly leaving little room for diversity-generating effects of hybridization. In this project, we will test this assumption by studying the contribution of hybridization, sexual selection, and ecological opportunity to the spectacular radiation in guenons, a group of African primates that readily hybridize. Guenons are renowned for their phenotypic, and ecological diversity and thus represent an ideal model system for an integrative study of speciation. Applying state-of-the-art genomic approaches to a global guenon dataset, we will investigate if ancient hybridization contributed to their radiation or if they diversified despite gene flow. The presence of multiple independent hybridization events in this species group offers the opportunity to study the repeatability of evolution and to identify key players of reproductive isolation. This study will significantly advance our understanding of speciation in mammals, a species group traditionally underrepresented in speciation research.
We have already generated a complete genomic sequence for one of the guenon species using SciLifeLab sequencing facilities. The genome has been delivered to one of our currently active projects. However, to put this information (and additional sequencing data to be produced) into a wider context, we need to analyse it in comparison to already published genomes. For this, we request a dedicated project with additional computational and storage resources.