Biodiversity loss is a global problem and island species/populations are particularly vulnerable to such loss. Low genetic diversity is one of the factors that can lead a population to extinction. Loss of bee populations is of particular concern because of the knock-on consequences for the pollination guilds that the lost bees once serviced. Here we evaluate the genetic structure of the bumble bee Bombus morio populations on the mainland of South East Brazil and on nearby islands. We analyzed a total of 659 individuals from 24 populations by sequencing two mitochondrial genes (COI and Cytb) and using 14 microsatellite loci. Levels of diversity were high in most of populations and were similar on islands and the mainland. Furthermore, genetic diversity was not significantly correlated with island area, although it was lower in populations from distant islands. Our data suggest that long-term isolation on islands is not affecting the population viability of this species. This may be attributed to the high dispersal ability of B. morio, its capacity to suvive in urban environments, and the characteristics of the studied islands.
Shai Carmi, James Xue, Itsik Pe’er
(Submitted on 19 Sep 2015)
Admixed populations are formed by the merging of two or more ancestral populations, and the ancestry of each locus in an admixed genome derives from either source. Consider a simple “pulse” admixture model, where populations A and B merged t generations ago without subsequent gene flow. We derive the distribution of the proportion of an admixed chromosome that has A (or B) ancestry, as a function of the chromosome length L, t, and the initial contribution of the A source, m. We demonstrate that these results can be used for inference of the admixture parameters. For more complex admixture models, we derive an expression in Laplace space for the distribution of ancestry proportions that depends on having the distribution of the lengths of segments of each ancestry. We obtain explicit results for the special case of a “two-wave” admixture model, where population A contributed additional migrants in one of the generations between the present and the initial admixture event. Specifically, we derive formulas for the distribution of A and B segment lengths and numerical results for the distribution of ancestry proportions. We show that for recent admixture, data generated under a two-wave model can hardly be distinguished from that generated under a pulse model.