Andrew D. Foote, Nagarjun Vijay, Maria C. Avila-Arcos, Robin W. Baird, John W. Durban, Matteo Fumagalli, Richard A. Gibbs, M. Bradley Hanson, Thorfinn S. Korneliussen, Michael D. Martin, Kelly M. Robertson, Vitor C. Sousa, Filipe G. Vieira, Tomas Vinar, Paul Wade, Kim C. Worley, Laurent Excoffier, Phillip A. Morin, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Jochen B. W. Wolf. Genome-culture coevolution promotes rapid divergence of killer whale ecotypes. Nature Communications, 7:11693. 2016.

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Analysing population genomic data from killer whale ecotypes, which we estimate
have globally radiated within less than 250,000 years, we show that genetic
structuring including the segregation of potentially functional alleles is
associated with socially inherited ecological niche. Reconstruction of ancestral 
demographic history revealed bottlenecks during founder events, likely promoting 
ecological divergence and genetic drift resulting in a wide range of genome-wide 
differentiation between pairs of allopatric and sympatric ecotypes. Functional
enrichment analyses provided evidence for regional genomic divergence associated 
with habitat, dietary preferences and post-zygotic reproductive isolation. Our
findings are consistent with expansion of small founder groups into novel niches 
by an initial plastic behavioural response, perpetuated by social learning
imposing an altered natural selection regime. The study constitutes an important 
step towards an understanding of the complex interaction between demographic
history, culture, ecological adaptation and evolution at the genomic level.