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Title: Museum Genomics of an Agricultural Super-Pest, the Colorado Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Chrysomelidae), Provides Evidence of Adaptation from Standing Variation

Despite extensive research on agricultural pests, our knowledge about their evolutionary history is often limited. A mechanistic understanding of the demographic changes and modes of adaptation remains an important goal, as it improves our understanding of organismal responses to environmental change and our ability to sustainably manage pest populations. Emerging genomic datasets now allow for characterization of demographic and adaptive processes, but face limits when they are drawn from contemporary samples, especially in the context of strong demographic change, repeated selection, or adaptation involving modest shifts in allele frequency at many loci. Temporal sampling, however, can improve our ability to reconstruct evolutionary events. Here, we leverage museum samples to examine whether population genomic diversity and structure has changed over time, and to identify genomic regions that appear to be under selection. We focus on the Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say 1824; Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), which is widely regarded as a super-pest due to its rapid, and repeated, evolution to insecticides. By combining whole genome resequencing data from 78 museum samples with modern sampling, we demonstrate that CPB expanded rapidly in the 19th century, leading to a reduction in diversity and limited genetic structure from the Midwest to Northeast more » United States. Temporal genome scans provide extensive evidence for selection acting in resistant field populations in Wisconsin and New York, including numerous known insecticide resistance genes. We also validate these results by showing that known selective sweeps in modern populations are identified by our genome scan. Perhaps most importantly, temporal analysis indicates selection on standing genetic variation, as we find evidence for parallel evolution in the two geographical regions. Parallel evolution involves a range of phenotypic traits not previously identified as under selection in CPB, such as reproductive and morphological functional pathways that might be important for adaptation to agricultural habitats.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Integrative and Comparative Biology
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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