Genomic signatures of recent adaptation in a wild bumblebee

Colgan, Thomas J, Arce, Andres, Gill, Richard J, Ramos Rodrigues, Ana, Kanteh, Abdoulie, Duncan, Elizabeth J, Li, Li, Chittka, Lars and Wurm, Yannick (2022) Genomic signatures of recent adaptation in a wild bumblebee. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 39 (2). ISSN 0737-4038

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Environmental changes threaten insect pollinators, creating risks for agriculture and ecosystem stability. Despite their importance, we know little about how wild insects respond to environmental pressures. To understand the genomic bases of adaptation in an ecologically important pollinator, we analyzed genomes of Bombus terrestris bumblebees collected across Great Britain. We reveal extensive genetic diversity within this population, and strong signatures of recent adaptation throughout the genome affecting key processes including neurobiology and wing development. We also discover unusual features of the genome, including a region containing 53 genes that lacks genetic diversity in many bee species, and a horizontal gene transfer from a Wolbachia bacteria. Overall, the genetic diversity we observe and how it is distributed throughout the genome and the population should support the resilience of this important pollinator species to ongoing and future selective pressures. Applying our approach to more species should help understand how they can differ in their adaptive potential, and to develop conservation strategies for those most at risk.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ecological genomics, population genomics, selective sweeps, bees, horizontal gene transfer, genetic health
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Health & Science > Department of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Andres Arce
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2022 10:58
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2023 12:48

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