A whole-genome scan for association with invasion success in the fruit fly Drosophila suzukii using contrasts of allele frequencies corrected for population structure.
Evidence is accumulating that evolutionary changes are not only common during biological invasions but may also contribute directly to invasion success. The genomic basis of such changes is still largely unexplored. Yet, understanding the genomic response to invasion may help to predict the conditions under which invasiveness can be enhanced or suppressed. Here, we characterized the genome response of the spotted wing drosophila Drosophila suzukii during the worldwide invasion of this pest insect species, by conducting a genome-wide association study to identify genes involved in adaptive processes during invasion. Genomic data from 22 population samples were analyzed to detect genetic variants associated with the status (invasive versus native) of the sampled populations based on a newly developed statistic, we called C2, that contrasts allele frequencies corrected for population structure. We evaluated this new statistical framework using simulated data sets and implemented it in an upgraded version of the program BAYPASS. We identified a relatively small set of single-nucleotide polymorphisms that show a highly significant association with the invasive status of D. suzukii populations. In particular, two genes, RhoGEF64C and cpo, contained single-nucleotide polymorphisms significantly associated with the invasive status in the two separate main invasion routes of D. suzukii. Our methodological approaches can be applied to any other invasive species, and more generally to any evolutionary model for species characterized by nonequilibrium demographic conditions for which binary covariables of interest can be defined at the population level.