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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 23;110(17):6931-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220372110. Epub 2013 Apr 8.

Neo-sex chromosomes and adaptive potential in tortricid pests.

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Laboratory of Molecular Cytogenetics, Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic.


Changes in genome architecture often have a significant effect on ecological specialization and speciation. This effect may be further enhanced by involvement of sex chromosomes playing a disproportionate role in reproductive isolation. We have physically mapped the Z chromosome of the major pome fruit pest, the codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Tortricidae), and show that it arose by fusion between an ancestral Z chromosome and an autosome corresponding to chromosome 15 in the Bombyx mori reference genome. We further show that the fusion originated in a common ancestor of the main tortricid subfamilies, Olethreutinae and Tortricinae, comprising almost 700 pest species worldwide. The Z-autosome fusion brought two major genes conferring insecticide resistance and clusters of genes involved in detoxification of plant secondary metabolites under sex-linked inheritance. We suggest that this fusion significantly increased the adaptive potential of tortricid moths and thus contributed to their radiation and subsequent speciation.

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