We investigate the genomic landscape of putative stickleback-relative introgression by carefully analyzing the tractable transposable elements (TE) on the admixed genome of some individuals of two sympatric stickleback species inhabiting northwestern Russia, namely the three-spined (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and the nine-spined (Pungitius pungitius) sticklebacks. Our data revealed that unique TE amplification types exist, supporting our proposed hypothesis that infers on the interspecific introgression.
By running a restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq) with eight samples of G. aculeatus and P. pungitius and subjecting further the results to a contrasting analysis by variated bioinformatic tools, we identified the related introgression-linked markers. The admixture nature observed in a single sample of the nine-spined stickleback demonstrated the possible traces of remote introgression between these two species. Our work reveals the potential that introgression has on providing particular variants at a high-frequency speed while linking blocks of sequence with multiple functional mutations.
However, even though our results are of significant interest, an increased number of samples displaying the introgression are required to further ascertain our conclusions.