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  1. Over the past three decades, the bed bug Cimex lectularius has resurged as a prominent indoor pest on a global scale. Knockdown-associated insecticide resistance (kdr) involving the voltage-gated sodium channel, targeted by organochlorine and pyrethroid insecticides, was first reported in C. lectularius within a few years of the widespread use of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and has been implicated as a significant factor contributing to the species’ recent resurgence. Since then, selection with pyrethroid insecticides has intensified, yet little is known regarding its short-term impacts on the frequency of kdr-associated mutations. Here, we report temporal changes in the frequencies of three kdr-associated mutations in C. lectularius populations collected across the USA from two time periods, sampled approximately a decade apart. The results reveal a significant increase in the frequencies of kdr-associated mutations over this period and the absence of the insecticide-susceptible genotype in recent collections. Furthermore, a significant transition was observed toward infestations possessing multiple kdr-associated mutations. These findings suggest that the persistent use of pyrethroid insecticides over the past decade continues to impose strong selection pressure on C. lectularius populations, driving the proliferation of kdr-associated mutations. They demonstrate that, if unabated, strong anthropogenic selection can drive the rapid evolution of adaptivemore »traits.« less
  2. Abstract

    The survival of insects that are dormant in winter may either increase or decrease as a consequence of elevated winter temperatures under climate change. Warming can be deleterious when metabolism of the overwintering life stages increases to the point that energy reserves are exhausted before postoverwintering reemergence. We examined experimentally how overwintering survival of swallow bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae: Cimex vicarius Horvath), an ectoparasite primarily of cliff swallows (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae: Petrochelidon pyrrhonota Vieillot), was affected by a 3°C rise in mean daily temperature for populations in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Adult and nymphal swallow bugs exposed to elevated temperature had an average reduction of approximately 31% in overwintering survival (from July/August to April/May), relative to controls exposed to current region-specific ambient-like conditions. Adult males in both groups survived less well in Nebraska and North Dakota than adult males in Oklahoma, but there was no consistent latitudinal effect of the elevated heat treatment. Our results indicate that projected increases in mean temperature in the Great Plains by 2050 could result in fewer swallow bugs surviving the winter and thus a reduced population size upon the arrival of their primary host in the spring, potentially affecting cliff swallow reproductive success, sitemore »use, and breeding phenology. Global climate change may alter the dynamics of host–parasite systems by reducing overall parasite abundance.

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  3. Abstract Facultative parthenogenesis (FP) is widespread in the animal kingdom. In vertebrates it was first described in poultry nearly 70 years ago, and since then reports involving other taxa have increased considerably. In the last two decades, numerous reports of FP have emerged in elasmobranch fishes and squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes), including documentation in wild populations of both clades. When considered in concert with recent evidence of reproductive competence, the accumulating data suggest that the significance of FP in vertebrate evolution has been largely underestimated. Several fundamental questions regarding developmental mechanisms, nonetheless, remain unanswered. Specifically, what is the type of automixis that underlies the production of progeny and how does this impact the genomic diversity of the resulting parthenogens? Here, we addressed these questions through the application of next-generation sequencing to investigate a suspected case of parthenogenesis in a king cobra ( Ophiophagus hannah ). Our results provide the first evidence of FP in this species, and provide novel evidence that rejects gametic duplication and supports terminal fusion as a mechanism underlying parthenogenesis in snakes. Moreover, we precisely estimated heterozygosity in parthenogenetic offspring and found appreciable retained genetic diversity that suggests that FP in vertebrates has underappreciated evolutionary significance.
  4. Abstract In recent years, bed bugs have experienced a remarkable resurgence on a near global scale. While reports have primarily focused on the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius (L.), which has resurged largely in temperate regions, in tropical regions the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus (F.) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), has reemerged as well. Recent reports of C. hemipterus introductions to subtropical and temperate regions, outside of the species natural distribution, suggest the potential for establishment and further spread. Establishment may be aided by insecticide resistance mechanisms, such as the presence of knockdown resistance (kdr)-associated mutations, which potentially confer resistance to pyrethroid, pyrethrin, and organochloride insecticides. Here, we present the first report of the detection and likely establishment of C. hemipterus in Honolulu, Hawaii, from samples collected in 2009 and 2019. Furthermore, through partial sequencing of the voltage-gated sodium channel, we report the presence of kdr-associated mutations in all samples. These findings have implications for the implementation of control strategies aimed at eradicating infestations.
  5. Abstract Despite awareness of the mutations conferring insecticide resistance in the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), within the United States few studies address the distribution and frequency of these. Within the United States, studies have focused on collections made along the East Coast and Midwest, documenting the occurrence of two mutations (V419L and L925I) within the voltage-gated sodium channel α-subunit gene shown to be associated with knockdown resistance (kdr) to pyrethroids. Here, the distribution and frequency of the V419L and L925I site variants is reported from infestations sampled within Oklahoma and its immediately adjacent states. Additionally, the presence of a mutation previously undocumented in the United States (I935F) is noted. While novel in the United States, this mutation has previously been reported in Australian and Old World populations. No infestations were found to harbor wild-type individuals, and hence susceptible, at each of the three sites. Instead, ~21% were found to possess the resistant mutation at the L925I site (haplotype B), ~77% had mutations at both the V419L and L925I sites (haplotype C), and 2% possessed the mutation at the L936F site (haplotype Ab). The high frequency of haplotype C corresponds to previous studies in the United States, andmore »contrasts dramatically with those of the Old World and Australia. The data presented here provide insight into the contemporary occurrence of kdr-associated insecticide resistance in the South Central United States, a region for which data have previously been absent. These data suggest that New World and Old World/Australian infestations are likely to have originated from different origins.« less
  6. Abstract Convergent evolution is often documented in organisms inhabiting isolated environments with distinct ecological conditions and similar selective regimes. Several Central America islands harbor dwarf Boa populations that are characterized by distinct differences in growth, mass, and craniofacial morphology, which are linked to the shared arboreal and feast-famine ecology of these island populations. Using high-density RADseq data, we inferred three dwarf island populations with independent origins and demonstrate that selection, along with genetic drift, has produced both divergent and convergent molecular evolution across island populations. Leveraging whole-genome resequencing data for 20 individuals and a newly annotated Boa genome, we identify four genes with evidence of phenotypically relevant protein-coding variation that differentiate island and mainland populations. The known roles of these genes involved in body growth (PTPRS, DMGDH, and ARSB), circulating fat and cholesterol levels (MYLIP), and craniofacial development (DMGDH and ARSB) in mammals link patterns of molecular evolution with the unique phenotypes of these island forms. Our results provide an important genome-wide example for quantifying expectations of selection and convergence in closely related populations. We also find evidence at several genomic loci that selection may be a prominent force of evolutionary change—even for small island populations for which drift ismore »predicted to dominate. Overall, while phenotypically convergent island populations show relatively few loci under strong selection, infrequent patterns of molecular convergence are still apparent and implicate genes with strong connections to convergent phenotypes.« less
  7. Abstract

    As populations differentiate across geographic or host‐association barriers, interpopulation fertility is often a measure of the extent of incipient speciation. The bed bug,Cimex lectulariusL., was recently found to form two host‐associated lineages within Europe: one found with humans (human‐associated, HA) and the other found with bats (bat‐associated, BA). No unequivocal evidence of contemporary gene flow between these lineages has been found; however, it is unclear whether this is due to an inability to produce viable “hybrid” offspring. To address this question and determine the extent of compatibility between host‐associated lineages, we set up mating crosses among populations of bed bugs based on both their host association (human—HA vs. bat—BA) and geographic origin (North America vs. Europe). Within‐population fecundity was significantly higher for all HA populations (>1.7 eggs/day) than for BA populations (<1 egg/day). However, all within‐population crosses, regardless of host association, had >92% egg hatch rates. Contrary to previous reports, in all interlineage crosses, successful matings occurred, fertile eggs were oviposited, and the F1“hybrid” generation was found to be reproductively viable. In addition, we evaluated interpopulation genetic variation inWolbachiaamong host‐associated lineages. We did not find any clear patterns related to host association, nor did we observe a homogenization ofWolbachialineagesmore »across populations that might explain a breakdown of reproductive incompatibility. These results indicate that while the HA and BA populations ofC. lectulariusrepresent genetically differentiated host‐associated lineages, possibly undergoing sympatric speciation, this is in its incipient stage as they remain reproductively compatible. Other behavioral, physiological, and/or ecological factors likely maintain host‐associated differentiation.

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