skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Doellman, Meredith M"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Studies assessing the predictability of evolution typically focus on short-term adaptation within populations or the repeatability of change among lineages. A missing consideration in speciation research is to determine whether natural selection predictably transforms standing genetic variation within populations into differences between species. Here, we test whether and how host-related selection on diapause timing associates with genome-wide differentiation during ecological speciation by comparing ancestral hawthorn and newly formed apple-infesting host races of Rhagoletis pomonella to their sibling species Rhagoletis mendax that attacks blueberries. The associations of 57 857 single nucleotide polymorphisms in a diapause genome-wide-association study (GWAS) on the hawthorn race strongly predicted the direction and magnitude of genomic divergence among the three fly populations at a field site in Fennville, MI, USA. The apple race and R. mendax show parallel changes in the frequencies of putative inversions on three chromosomes associated with the earlier fruiting times of apples and blueberries compared to hawthorns. A diapause GWAS on R. mendax revealed compensatory changes throughout the genome accounting for the earlier eclosion of blueberry, but not apple flies. Thus, a degree of predictability, although not complete, exists in the genomics of diapause across the ecological speciation continuum in Rhagoletis . The generality of this result is placed in the context of other similar systems. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Towards the completion of speciation: the evolution of reproductive isolation beyond the first barriers'. 
    more » « less
  2. Many organisms enter a dormant state in their life cycle to deal with predictable changes in environments over the course of a year. The timing of dormancy is therefore a key seasonal adaptation, and it evolves rapidly with changing environments. We tested the hypothesis that differences in the timing of seasonal activity are driven by differences in the rate of development during diapause in Rhagoletis pomonella , a fly specialized to feed on fruits of seasonally limited host plants. Transcriptomes from the central nervous system across a time series during diapause show consistent and progressive changes in transcripts participating in diverse developmental processes, despite a lack of gross morphological change. Moreover, population genomic analyses suggested that many genes of small effect enriched in developmental functional categories underlie variation in dormancy timing and overlap with gene sets associated with development rate in Drosophila melanogaster . Our transcriptional data also suggested that a recent evolutionary shift from a seasonally late to a seasonally early host plant drove more rapid development during diapause in the early fly population. Moreover, genetic variants that diverged during the evolutionary shift were also enriched in putative cis regulatory regions of genes differentially expressed during diapause development. Overall, our data suggest polygenic variation in the rate of developmental progression during diapause contributes to the evolution of seasonality in R. pomonella . We further discuss patterns that suggest hourglass-like developmental divergence early and late in diapause development and an important role for hub genes in the evolution of transcriptional divergence. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract Insect pests destroy ~15% of all U.S. crops, resulting in losses of $15 billion annually. Thus, developing cheap, quick, and reliable methods for detecting harmful species is critical to curtail insect damage and lessen economic impact. The apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, is a major invasive pest threatening the multibillion-dollar apple industry in the Pacific Northwest United States. The fly is also sympatric with a benign but morphologically similar and genetically closely related species, R. zephyria, which attacks noncommercial snowberry. Unambiguous species identification is essential due to a zero-infestation policy of apple maggot for fruit export. Mistaking R. zephyria for R. pomonella triggers unnecessary and costly quarantines, diverting valuable control resources. Here we develop and apply a relatively simple and cost-effective diagnostic approach using Illumina sequencing of double-digest restriction site-associated DNA markers. We identified five informative single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and designed a diagnostic test based on agarose gel electrophoresis of restriction enzyme-digested polymerase chain reaction amplification products (RFLPs) to distinguish fly species. We demonstrated the utility of this approach for immediate, 1-d species identification by scoring apple- and snowberry-infesting flies from known hosts, reared from fruit collected at 11 sites throughout Washington. However, if immediate diagnosis is not required, or hundreds to thousands of specimens must be assessed, then a direct Illumina-based sequencing strategy, similar to that used here for diagnostic SNP identification, can be powerful and cost-effective. The genomic strategy we present is effective for R. pomonella and also transferable to many cryptic pests. 
    more » « less
  4. ABSTRACT

    A key to understanding life's great diversity is discerning how competing organisms divide limiting resources to coexist in diverse communities. While temporal resource partitioning has long been hypothesized to reduce the negative effects of interspecific competition, empirical evidence suggests that time may not often be an axis along which animal species routinely subdivide resources. Here, we present evidence to the contrary in the world's most biodiverse group of animals: insect parasites (parasitoids). Specifically, we conducted a meta‐analysis of 64 studies from 41 publications to determine if temporal resource partitioningviavariation in the timing of a key life‐history trait, egg deposition (oviposition), mitigates interspecific competition between species pairs sharing the same insect host. When competing species were manipulated to oviposit at (or near) the same time in or on a single host in the laboratory, competition was common, and one species was typically inherently superior (i.e. survived to adulthood a greater proportion of the time). In most cases, however, the inferior competitor could gain a survivorship advantage by ovipositing earlier (or in a smaller number of cases later) into shared hosts. Moreover, this positive (or in a few cases negative) priority advantage gained by the inferior competitor increased as the interval between oviposition times became greater. The results from manipulative experiments were also correlated with patterns of life‐history timing and demography in nature: the more inherently competitively inferior a species was in the laboratory, the greater the interval between oviposition times of taxa in co‐occurring populations. Additionally, the larger the interval between oviposition times of competing taxa, the more abundant the inferior species was in populations where competitors were known to coexist. Overall, our findings suggest that temporal resource partitioningviavariation in oviposition timing may help to facilitate species coexistence and structures diverse insect communities by altering demographic measures of species success. We argue that the lack of evidence for a more prominent role of temporal resource partitioning in promoting species coexistence may reflect taxonomic differences, with a bias towards larger‐sized animals. For smaller species like parasitic insects that are specialized to attack one or a group of closely related hosts, have short adult lifespans and discrete generation times, compete directly for limited resources in small, closed arenas and have life histories constrained by host phenology, temporal resource subdivisionviavariation in life history may play a critical role in allowing species to coexist by alleviating the negative effects of interspecific competition.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Divergent adaptation to new ecological opportunities can be an important factor initiating speciation. However, as niches are filled during adaptive radiations, trait divergence driving reproductive isolation between sister taxa may also result in trait convergence with more distantly related taxa, increasing the potential for reticulated gene flow across the radiation. Here, we demonstrate such a scenario in a recent adaptive radiation ofRhagoletisfruit flies, specialized on different host plants. Throughout this radiation, shifts to novel hosts are associated with changes in diapause life history timing, which act as “magic traits” generating allochronic reproductive isolation and facilitating speciation‐with‐gene‐flow. Evidence from laboratory rearing experiments measuring adult emergence timing and genome‐wide DNA‐sequencing surveys supported allochronic speciation between summer‐fruitingVacciniumspp.‐infestingRhagoletis mendaxand its hypothesized and undescribed sister taxon infesting autumn‐fruiting sparkleberries. The sparkleberry fly andRmendaxwere shown to be genetically discrete sister taxa, exhibiting no detectable gene flow and allochronically isolated by a 2‐month average difference in emergence time corresponding to host availability. At sympatric sites across the southern USA, the later fruiting phenology of sparkleberries overlaps with that of flowering dogwood, the host of another more distantly related and undescribedRhagoletistaxon. Laboratory emergence data confirmed broadly overlapping life history timing and genomic evidence supported on‐going gene flow between sparkleberry and flowering dogwood flies. Thus, divergent phenological adaptation can drive the initiation of reproductive isolation, while also enhancing genetic exchange across broader adaptive radiations, potentially serving as a source of novel genotypic variation and accentuating further diversification.

     
    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    An outstanding issue in the study of insect host races concerns the idea of ‘recursive adaptive divergence’, whereby adaptation can occur repeatedly across space and/or time, and the most recent adaptive episode is defined by one or more previously similar cases. The host plant shift of the apple maggot fly,Rhagoletis pomonella(Walsh) (Diptera: Tephritidae, Carpomyini), from ancestral downy hawthorn [Crataegus mollis(Torr. & A. Gray) Scheele] to introduced, domesticated apple (Malus domesticaBorkh.) in the eastern USA has long served as a model system for investigating ecologically driven host race formation in phytophagous insect specialists. Here, we report results from an annual geography survey of eclosion time demonstrating a similar ecological pattern among nascent host‐associated populations of the fly recently introduced ca. 40 years ago from its native range in the east into the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the USA. Specifically, using data collected from 25 locations across 5 years, we show that apple‐infesting fly populations in the PNW have rapidly and repeatedly shifted (and maintained differences in) their adult eclosion life‐history timing to infest two novel hawthorn hosts with different fruiting phenologies – a native species (Crataegus douglasiiLindl.) and an introduced species (Crataegus monogynaJacq.) – generating partial allochronic reproductive isolation in the process. The shifts in the PNW parallel the classic case of host race formation in the eastern USA, but have occurred bi‐directionally to two hawthorn species with phenologies slightly earlier (black hawthorn) and significantly later (ornamental hawthorn) than apple. Our results imply thatR. pomonellacan both possess and retain extensive‐standing variation (i.e., ‘adaptive memory’) in diapause traits, even following introductions, to rapidly and temporally track novel phenological host opportunities when they arise. Thus, ‘specialized’ host races may not constitute evolutionary dead ends. Rather, adaptive phenotypic and genetic memory may carry over from one host shift to the next, recursively facilitating host race formation in phytophagous insects.

     
    more » « less