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Contemporary parallel evolution by reassembly of anciently diverged alleles.

The drawing depicts the importance of admixture for fast and repeated evolution of two ecotypes of the saltmarsh beetle Pogonus chalceus. Long- and short-winged ecotypes of P. chalceus have diverged repeatedly along the Atlantic European coast in response to contrasting hydrological regimes. The repeated evolution is driven by an initial ancient and singular divergence of the short-winged ecotype, after which it admixed with the ancestral long-winged population. This admixture resulted in a polymorphic population that survived during the most recent glacial maxima and from which both ecotypes currently diverge rapidly and repeatedly by the reassembly of these ancient alleles when habitats become available. See Van Belleghem et al.

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Image Credit: Steven M. Van Belleghem and Frederik Hendrickx