Drosophila suzukii: The genetic footprint of a recent, worldwide invasion

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Native to Asia, the soft-skinned fruit pest Drosophila suzukii has recently invaded the United States and Europe. The eastern United States represents the most recent expansion of their range, and presents an opportunity to test alternative models of colonization history. Here, we investigate the genetic population structure of this invasive fruit fly, with a focus on the eastern United States. We sequenced six X-linked gene fragments from 246 individuals collected from a total of 12 populations. We examine patterns of genetic diversity within and between populations and explore alternative colonization scenarios using approximate Bayesian computation. Our results indicate high levels of nucleotide diversity in this species and suggest that the recent invasions of Europe and the continental United States are independent demographic events. More broadly speaking, our results highlight the importance of integrating population structure into demographic models, particularly when attempting to reconstruct invasion histories. Finally, our simulation results illustrate the general challenge in reconstructing invasion histories using genetic data and suggest that genome-level data are often required to distinguish among alternative demographic scenarios.




Adrion, J. R., Kousathanas, A., Pascual, M., Burrack, H. J., Haddad, N. M., Bergland, A. O., … Singh, N. D. (2014). Drosophila suzukii: The genetic footprint of a recent, worldwide invasion. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 31(12), 3148–3163. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msu246

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