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Mol Biol Evol. 2014 Aug 25. pii: msu246. [Epub ahead of print]

Drosophila suzukii: the genetic footprint of a recent, world-wide invasion.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington IN 47405.
  • 2Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne 1000, Switzerland.
  • 3Department of Genetics and IRBio, University of Barcelona, Barcelona 08028, Spain.
  • 4Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC 27695.
  • 5Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC 27695.
  • 6Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford CA 94305.
  • 7Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 0214.
  • 8Department of Biology, Reed College, Portland OR 97202.
  • 9Department of Biology, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8577, Japan.
  • 10Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC 27695 ndsingh@ncsu.edu.


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 of reconstructing invasion histories using genetic data and suggest that genome-level data are often required to distinguish among alternative demographic scenarios.

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


Drosophila suzukii; invasion; pest; population genetics

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