Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Spatial population genomics of a recent mosquito invasion.

Abstract

Population genomic approaches can characterize dispersal across a single generation through to many generations in the past, bridging the gap between individual movement and intergenerational gene flow. These approaches are particularly useful when investigating dispersal in recently altered systems, where they provide a way of inferring long-distance dispersal between newly established populations and their interactions with existing populations. Human-mediated biological invasions represent such altered systems which can be investigated with appropriate study designs and analyses. Here we apply temporally restricted sampling and a range of population genomic approaches to investigate dispersal in a 2004 invasion of Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) in the Torres Strait Islands (TSI) of Australia. We sampled mosquitoes from 13 TSI villages simultaneously and genotyped 373 mosquitoes at genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): 331 from the TSI, 36 from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and four incursive mosquitoes detected in uninvaded regions. Within villages, spatial genetic structure varied substantially but overall displayed isolation by distance and a neighbourhood size of 232-577. Close kin dyads revealed recent movement between islands 31-203 km apart, and deep learning inferences showed incursive Ae. albopictus had travelled to uninvaded regions from both adjacent and nonadjacent islands. Private alleles and a co-ancestry matrix indicated direct gene flow from PNG into nearby islands. Outlier analyses also detected four linked alleles introgressed from PNG, with the alleles surrounding 12 resistance-associated cytochrome P450 genes. By treating dispersal as both an intergenerational process and a set of discrete events, we describe a highly interconnected invasive system.