Next-generation sequencing and the expanding domain of phylogeography

Scott V. Edwards, Allison J. Shultz, Shane C. Campbell-Staton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Phylogeography is experiencing a revolution brought on by next-generation sequencing methods. A historical survey of the phylogeographic literature suggests that phylogeography typically incorporates new questions, expanding on its classical domain, when new technologies offer novel or increased numbers of molecular markers. A variety of methods for subsampling genomic variation, including restriction site associated DNA sequencing (Rad-seq) and other next generation approaches, are proving exceptionally useful in helping to define major phylogeographic lineages within species as well as details of historical demography. Next-generation methods are also blurring the edges of phylogeography and related fields such as association mapping of loci under selection, and the emerging paradigm is one of simultaneously inferring both population history across geography and genomic targets of selection. However, recent examples, including some from our lab on Anolis lizards and songbirds, suggest that genome subsampling methods, while extremely powerful for the classical goals of phylogeography, may fail to allow phylogeography to fully achieve the goals of this new, expanded domain. Specifically, if genome-wide linkage disequilibrium is low, as is the case in many species with large population sizes, most genome subsampling methods will not sample densely enough to detect selected variants, or variants closely linked to them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-206
Number of pages20
JournalFolia Zoologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


  • Association mapping
  • Bird
  • Demographic history
  • Genotype-by-sequencing
  • Natural selection
  • Rad-seq


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