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  1. Ware, Jessica (Ed.)
    Abstract Broadly distributed species experience divergent abiotic conditions across their ranges that may drive local adaptation. Montane systems where populations are distributed across both latitudinal and elevational gradients are especially likely to produce local adaptation due to spatial variation in multiple abiotic factors, including temperature, oxygen availability, and air density. We use whole-genome resequencing to evaluate the landscape genomics of Bombus vancouverensis Cresson (Hymenoptera: Apidae), a common montane bumble bee that is distributed throughout the western part of North America. Combined statistical approaches revealed several large windows of outlier SNPs with unusual levels of differentiation across the region and indicated that isothermality and elevation were the environmental features most strongly associated with these variants. Genes found within these regions had diverse biological functions, but included neuromuscular function, ion homeostasis, oxidative stress, and hypoxia that could be associated with tolerance of temperature, desiccation, or high elevation conditions. The whole-genome sequencing approach revealed outliers occurred in genome regions with elevated linkage disequilibrium, elevated mean FST, and low intrapopulation nucleotide diversity. Other kinds of structural variations were not widely associated with environmental predictors but did broadly match geographic separation. Results are consistent with other studies suggesting that regions of low recombination may harbormore »adaptive variation in bumble bees within as well as between species and refine our understanding of candidate genes that could be further investigated as possible targets of selection across the B. vancouverensis range.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 28, 2023
  3. The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea (Family: Cyneridae) has aggressively invaded freshwater habitats worldwide, resulting in dramatic ecological changes and declines of native bivalves such as freshwater mussels (Family: Unionidae), one of the most imperiled faunal groups. Despite increases in our knowledge of invasive C. fluminea biology, little is known of how intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including co-occurring native species, influence its microbiome. We investigated the gut bacterial microbiome across genetically differentiated populations of C. fluminea in the Tennessee and Mobile River Basins in the Southeastern United States and compared them to those of six co-occurring species of native freshwater mussels. The gut microbiome of C. fluminea was diverse, differed with environmental conditions and varied spatially among rivers, but was unrelated to host genetic variation. Microbial source tracking suggested that the gut microbiome of C. fluminea may be influenced by the presence of co-occurring native mussels. Inferred functions from 16S rRNA gene data using PICRUST2 predicted a high prevalence and diversity of degradation functions in the C. fluminea microbiome, especially the degradation of carbohydrates and aromatic compounds. Such modularity and functional diversity of the microbiome of C. fluminea may be an asset, allowing to acclimate to an extensive range of nutritionalmore »sources in invaded habitats, which could play a vital role in its invasive success.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 4, 2023
  4. Hines, Heather (Ed.)
    Abstract Biogeographic clines in morphology along environmental gradients can illuminate forces influencing trait evolution within and between species. Latitude has long been studied as a driver of morphological clines, with a focus on body size and temperature. However, counteracting environmental pressures may impose constraints on body size. In montane landscapes, declines in air density with elevation can negatively impact flight performance in volant species, which may contribute to selection for reduced body mass despite declining temperatures. We examine morphology in two bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus Latreille) species, Bombus vancouverensis Cresson and Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, across mountainous regions of California, Oregon, and Washington, United States. We incorporate population genomic data to investigate the relationship between genomic ancestry and morphological divergence. We find that B. vancouverensis, which tends to be more specialized for high elevations, exhibits stronger spatial-environmental variation, being smaller in the southern and higher elevation parts of its range and having reduced wing loading (mass relative to wing area) at high elevations. Bombus vosnesenskii, which is more of an elevational generalist, has substantial trait variation, but spatial-environmental correlations are weak. Population structure is stronger in the smaller B. vancouverensis, and we find a significant association between elevation and wingmore »loading after accounting for genetic structure, suggesting the possibility of local adaptation for this flight performance trait. Our findings suggest that some conflicting results for body size trends may stem from distinct environmental pressures that impact different aspects of bumble bee ecology, and that different species show different morphological clines in the same region.« less
  5. Abstract

    Global temperature changes have emphasized the need to understand how species adapt to thermal stress across their ranges. Genetic mechanisms may contribute to variation in thermal tolerance, providing evidence for how organisms adapt to local environments. We determine physiological thermal limits and characterize genome-wide transcriptional changes at these limits in bumble bees using laboratory-rearedBombus vosnesenskiiworkers. We analyze bees reared from latitudinal (35.7–45.7°N) and altitudinal (7–2154 m) extremes of the species’ range to correlate thermal tolerance and gene expression among populations from different climates. We find that critical thermal minima (CTMIN) exhibit strong associations with local minimums at the location of queen origin, while critical thermal maximum (CTMAX) was invariant among populations. Concordant patterns are apparent in gene expression data, with regional differentiation following cold exposure, and expression shifts invariant among populations under high temperatures. Furthermore, we identify several modules of co-expressed genes that tightly correlate with critical thermal limits and temperature at the region of origin. Our results reveal that local adaptation in thermal limits and gene expression may facilitate cold tolerance across a species range, whereas high temperature responses are likely constrained, both of which may have implications for climate change responses of bumble bees.

  6. Bumble bees are ecologically and economically important insect pollinators. Three abundant and widespread species in western North America, Bombus bifarius, Bombus vancouverensis, and Bombus vosnesenskii, have been the focus of substantial research relating to diverse aspects of bumble bee ecology and evolutionary biology. We present de novo genome assemblies for each of the three species using hybrid assembly of Illumina and Oxford Nanopore Technologies sequences. All three assemblies are of high quality with large N50s (> 2.2 Mb), BUSCO scores indicating > 98% complete genes, and annotations producing 13,325 - 13,687 genes, comparing favorably with other bee genomes. Analysis of synteny against the most complete bumble bee genome, Bombus terrestris, reveals a high degree of collinearity. These genomes should provide a valuable resource for addressing questions relating to functional genomics and evolutionary biology in these species.