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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Genet. | doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00838

Genetic diversity and Wolbachia infection patterns in a globally distributed invasive ant

 Shu-Ping Tseng1, James K. Wetterer2,  Andrew V. Suarez3, 4,  Chow-Yang Lee5, Tsuyoshi Yoshimura1,  DeWayne Shoemaker6* and  Chin-Cheng Scotty Yang1*
  • 1Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Japan
  • 2Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, United States
  • 3Department of Entomology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States
  • 4Department of Animal Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
  • 5School of Biological Sciences, University of Science, Malaysia, Malaysia
  • 6Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, United States

Understanding the phylogeographic history of an invasive species may facilitate reconstructing the history and routes of invasion. The longhorn crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis, is a ubiquitous agricultural and household pest throughout much of the tropics and subtropics, but little is known about the history of its spread. Here, we examine worldwide genetic variation in P. longicornis and the associated Wolbachia bacterial symbionts. Analyses of mtDNA sequences of 248 P. longicornis workers (one per colony) from 13 geographic regions reveal two highly diverged mtDNA clades that co-occur in most of the geographic regions. These two mtDNA clades are associated with different Wolbachia infection patterns, but are not congruent with patterns of nDNA microsatellite variation. Multilocus sequence typing reveals two distinct Wolbachia strains in P. longicornis, namely, wLonA and wLonF. The evolutionary histories of these two strains differ; wLonA appears to be primarily transmitted maternally, and patterns of mtDNA and nDNA variation and wLonA infection status are consistent with a relatively recent Wolbachia-induced selective sweep. In contrast, the observed patterns of mtDNA variation and wLonF infections suggest frequent horizontal transfer and losses of wLonF infections. The lack of nDNA structure among sampled geographic regions coupled with the finding that numerous mtDNA haplotypes are shared among regions implies that inadvertent long-distance movement through human commerce is common in P. longicornis and has shaped the genetic structure of this invasive ant worldwide.

Keywords: Horizontal transfer, invasive species, Phylogeography, selective sweep, Wolbachia

Received: 27 Apr 2019; Accepted: 13 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Tseng, Wetterer, Suarez, Lee, Yoshimura, Shoemaker and Yang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. DeWayne Shoemaker, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Knoxville, 37996, Tennessee, United States,
Dr. Chin-Cheng Scotty Yang, Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 611-0011, Kyōto, Japan,