Little information is presently available on the factors promoting genetic divergence in eukaryotic microbes. We studied the spatial distribution of genetic variation in Saccharomyces paradoxus, the wild relative of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, from the scale of a few centimetres on individual oak trees to thousands of kilometres across different continents. Genealogical analysis of six loci shows that isolates from Europe form a single recombining population, and within this population genetic differentiation increases with physical distance. Between different continents, strains are more divergent and genealogically independent, indicating well-differentiated lineages that may be in the process of speciation. Such replicated populations will be useful for studies in population genomics.
↵† Present address: DEEB, IBLS, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QP, UK.
↵‡ Present address: Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B1, Canada.
One contribution of 15 to a Discussion Meeting Issue ‘Species and speciation in micro-organisms’.
- © 2006 The Royal Society