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    Author(s): Sandrine Picq; Melody KeenaNathan Havill; Don Stewart; Esther Pouliot; Brian Boyle; Roger C. Levesque; Richard C. Hamelin; Michel Cusson
    Date: 2018
    Source: Evolutionary Applications
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (897.0 KB)


    Forest invasive alien species are a major threat to ecosystem stability and can have enormous economic and social impacts. For this reason, preventing the introduction of Asian gypsy moths (AGM; Lymantria dispar asiatica and L. d. japonica) into North America has been identified as a top priority by North American authorities. The AGM is an important defoliator of a wide variety of hardwood and coniferous trees, displaying a much broader host range and an enhanced dispersal ability relative to the already established European gypsy moth (L. d. dispar). Although molecular assays have been developed to help distinguish gypsy moth subspecies, these tools are not adequate for tracing the geographic origins of AGM samples intercepted on foreign vessels. Yet, this type of information would be very useful in characterizing introduction pathways and would help North American regulatory authorities in preventing introductions. The present proof-of- concept study assessed the potential of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, obtained through genotyping by sequencing (GBS), to identify the geographic origins of gypsy moth samples. The approach was applied to eight laboratory-reared gypsy moth populations, whose original stocks came from locations distributed over the entire range of L. dispar, comprising representatives of the three recognized subspecies. The various analyses we performed showed strong differentiation among populations (FST ≥ 0.237), enabling clear distinction of subspecies and geographic variants, while revealing introgression near the geographic boundaries between subspecies. This strong population structure resulted in 100% assignment success of moths to their original population when 2,327 SNPs were used. Although the SNP panels we developed are not immediately applicable to contemporary, natural populations because of distorted allele frequencies in the laboratory-reared populations we used, our results attest to the potential of genomewide SNP markers as a tool to identify the geographic origins of intercepted gypsy moth samples.

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    Picq, Sandrine; Keena, Melody; Havill, Nathan; Stewart, Don; Pouliot, Esther; Boyle, Brian; Levesque, Roger C.; Hamelin, Richard C.; Cusson, Michel. 2018. Assessing the potential of genotyping-by-sequencing-derived single nucleotide polymorphisms to identify the geographic origins of intercepted gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) specimens: A proof-of-concept study. Evolutionary Applications. 11(3): 325-339.


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    genotyping-by-sequencing, invasive species, laboratory populations, Lymantria dispar, population assignment, SNP filtering

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