Publication with datasets Barker 2005, Population structure and host-plant specialization in two Scaptodrosophila ﬂower-breeding species, Heredity
- Scaptodrosophila, Flower breeders, Host races, Microsatellites, Null alleles and Population structure
ABSTRACT: In contrast to phytophagous insect species, little attention has been paid to the possibility of host races in the Drosophilidae, although ﬂower-breeding species, where courtship and mating take place on the ﬂowers, are likely candidates. Two species of Scaptodrosophila, S. hibisci and S. aclinata, are restricted to ﬂowers of Hibiscus species (section Furcaria), and the Furcaria specialization likely predated the separation of S. hibisci and S. aclinata. In all, 20 microsatellite loci were analysed in nine populations of S. hibisci and ﬁve of S. aclinata. For two pairs of S. hibisci populations in close proximity, but breeding on different Hibiscus species, differentiation between the populations of each of these pairs was similar to that between the populations that were from the same Hibiscus species, but geographically distant, suggesting the early stages of host race formation. Genetic variability was signiﬁcantly less in S. aclinata than in S. hibisci, suggesting greater drift effects in the former. However, of 253 alleles detected, 82 were present in both species, 160 in S. hibisci only and 11 in S. aclinata only, indicating that S. aclinata was derived from S. hibisci, following a strong bottleneck at the time of separation - possibly 40000 years BP. Analyses and interpretation of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and F statistics needed to account for null alleles known to be present at eight loci in S. hibisci, and possibly present at other loci. The results emphasize the need for caution in studies where the presence of null alleles is inferred only from population data.