Comparison of population genetic structures of the plant Silene stellata and its obligate pollinating seed predator moth Hadena ectypa

Zhou, J., Dudash, M. R., Zimmer, E. A., Fenster, C. B. (May 2018) Comparison of population genetic structures of the plant Silene stellata and its obligate pollinating seed predator moth Hadena ectypa. Ann Bot, 122 (4). pp. 593-603. ISSN 0305-7364

DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcy091


Background and Aims: Population genetic structures and patterns of gene flow of interacting species provide important insights into the spatial scale of their interactions and the potential for local co-adaptation. We analysed the genetic structures of the plant Silene stellata and the nocturnal moth Hadena ectypa. Hadena ectypa acts as one of the important pollinators of S. stellata as well as being an obligate seed parasite on the plant. Although H. ectypa provides a substantial pollination service to S. stellata, this system is largely considered parasitic due to the severe seed predation by the Hadena larvae. Previous research on this system has found variable interaction outcomes across space, indicating the potential for a geographical selection mosaic. Methods: Using 11 microsatellite markers for S. stellata and nine markers for H. ectypa, we analysed the population genetic structure and the patterns and intensity of gene flow within and among three local populations in the Appalachians. Key Results: We found no spatial genetic structure in the moth populations, while significant differentiation was detected among the local plant populations. Additionally, we observed that gene flow rates among H. ectypa populations were more uniform and that the mean gene flow rate in H. ectypa was twice as large as that in S. stellata. Conclusions: Our results suggest that although the moths move frequently among populations, long-distance pollen carryover only happens occasionally. The difference in gene flow rates between S. stellata and H. ectypa could prevent strict local co-adaptation. Furthermore, higher gene flow rates in H. ectypa could also increase resistance of the local S. stellata populations to the parasitic effect of H. ectypa and therefore help to stabilize the Silene-Hadena interaction dynamics.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: bioinformatics
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > McCandlish lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 30 May 2018
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2018 21:12
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2019 18:21
PMCID: PMC6153480
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