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Population genomic and phenotype diversity of invasive Drosophila suzukii in Hawai‘i


In the context of evolutionary theory, invasion biology provides a fantastic enigma: how does a species with limited standing genetic variation survive and adapt to a novel environment? Reduced genetic diversity is typically associated with low fitness and evolutionary potential, yet some introduced species have proven to be successful invaders despite undergoing a genetic bottleneck during the early stages of colonization. Our goal in this study was to characterize population genomic and phenotype diversity of invasive Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) since colonizing the Hawaiian archipelago as early as the 1980s. Wing phenotype analysis revealed that high altitude populations possessed significantly larger wings than low altitude populations, supporting the hypothesis that insects cope with high altitude environments by developing larger wings. While we discovered low genetic diversity and differentiation in all Hawai‘i populations, three unique genetic clusters were detected with a model-free, multivariate statistical approach. We identified 23 candidate loci under selection using two complementary analyses to detect FST outliers across the genome. For 12 of these loci, predicted proteins are associated with Drosophila spp. chemosensation, amino acid and sodium ion transport, a Ras effector pathway, and cytidine deamination. Despite a genetic bottleneck, adventive D. suzukii populations are beginning to differentiate across the Hawaiian archipelago and selection for key behavioral and cellular processes are likely ongoing.

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Data accessibility

Individual SNP genotype data and population locations assigned to each specimen analyzed in our study will be available from Dryad (https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.60b67d5).


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We thank Ms. Angela Kauwe for her assistance in ddRAD library preparation, Mr. Daniel Martinez and Ms. Quinn Hamamoto for their assistance in wing phenotype analysis, Mr. Armen Armaghanyan for collection assistance, and three anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. JBK was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology (#1523661) and a David H. Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. MKJ and NO were supported by an NSF-Research experience for undergraduates site grant awarded to Becky Ostertag (PI) and Noelani Puniwai (Co-PI) (#146130). Permission to survey D. suzukii was made possible by an endorsement from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (FHM16-410), Haleakalā National Park (HALE-2016-SCI-003), and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO-2016-SCI-015). The US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all agency services are available without discrimination. Mention of commercial products and organizations in this manuscript is solely to provide specific information. It does not constitute endorsement by USDA-ARS over other products and organizations not mentioned.

Author information

JBK and DKP designed the research. JBK, MKJ, and NO made field surveys and collected samples. JBK and JRD conducted analyses. JBK and JRD led the writing of the manuscript. SG, PF, MKJ, and DKP provided useful comments and contributed to revisions.

Correspondence to Jonathan B. Koch.

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Koch, J.B., Dupuis, J.R., Jardeleza, M. et al. Population genomic and phenotype diversity of invasive Drosophila suzukii in Hawai‘i. Biol Invasions (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02217-5

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  • Population genomics
  • Outlier analysis
  • Island
  • Phenotype
  • Invasive species