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A tight association in two genetically unlinked dispersal related traits in sympatric and allopatric salt marsh beetle populations
Van Belleghem, S.M.; Hendrickx, F. (2014). A tight association in two genetically unlinked dispersal related traits in sympatric and allopatric salt marsh beetle populations. Genetica 142(1): 1-9. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10709-013-9749-y
In: Genetica. Kluwer Academic: The Hague. ISSN 0016-6707; e-ISSN 1573-6857, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Multiple trait evolution; Divergent selection; Dispersal polymorphism;Ecological speciation; Physical linkage

Authors  Top 
  • Van Belleghem, S.M., more
  • Hendrickx, F., more

Abstract
    Local adaptation likely involves selection on multiple, genetically unlinked traits to increase fitness in divergent habitats. Conversely, recombination is expected to counteract local adaptation under gene flow by breaking down adaptive gene combinations. Western European populations of the salt marsh beetle Pogonus chalceus are characterized by large interpopulation variation at various geographical ranges in two traits related to dispersal ability, i.e. wing size and different allozymes of the mitochondrial NADP+-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (mtIdh) gene. In this study, we tested whether variation in wing length was as strongly genetically determined in locally adapted populations in a sympatric mosaic compared to allopatric populations, and if variation in mtIDH and wing size was genetically unlinked. We demonstrate that the genetic determination of wing size is very high (h 2 = 0.90) in sympatry and of comparable magnitude as geographically separated populations. Second, we show that, although frequencies of mtIDH allozymes are tightly associated with mean population wing size across Western European populations, the correlation is strongly reduced within some of the populations. These findings demonstrate that the divergence involves at least two traits under independent genetic control and that the genetically distinct ecotypes are retained at geographical distances with ample opportunity for gene flow.

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