3 years ago

Genome-wide SNPs reveal the drivers of gene flow in an urban population of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, <i>Aedes albopictus</i>

Xiaoying Zheng, Zhiyong Xi, Dongjing Zhang, Ary A. Hoffmann, Thomas L. Schmidt, Gordana Rašić
Aedes albopictus is a highly invasive disease vector with an expanding worldwide distribution. Genetic assays using low to medium resolution markers have found little evidence of spatial genetic structure even at broad geographic scales, suggesting frequent passive movement along human transportation networks. Here we analysed genetic structure of Aedes albopictus collected from 12 sample sites in Guangzhou, China, using thousands of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We found evidence for passive gene flow, with distance from shipping terminals being the strongest predictor of genetic distance among mosquitoes. As further evidence of passive dispersal, we found multiple pairs of full-siblings distributed between two sample sites 3.7 km apart. After accounting for geographical variability, we also found evidence for isolation by distance, previously undetectable in Ae. albopictus. These findings demonstrate how large SNP datasets and spatially-explicit hypothesis testing can be used to decipher processes at finer geographic scales than formerly possible. Our approach can be used to help predict new invasion pathways of Ae. albopictus and to refine strategies for vector control that involve the transformation or suppression of mosquito populations.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006009

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