Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MELCA (Molecular evolution in the double-clonal longhorn crazy ant)
Berichtszeitraum: 2018-01-01 bis 2019-12-31
The longhorn crazy ant Paratrechina longicornis is a common pest and one of the most broadly dispersed ants in the world. Recent research showed that colonies from Thailand display a double-clonal mating system. The objective of the H2020 MELCA action was to investigate the consequence of “double clonal” reproduction on genome evolution in Paratrechina longicornis. Our work provides genetic resources from several invasive populations and revealed further details on how the double-clonal reproductive system operates in this species, laying a solid foundation for understanding the interplay between molecular evolution of the genome and mode of sexual reproduction."
The action provided further details into the double-clonal mating system of the longhorn crazy ant Paratrechina longicornis from phylogeographic, behavioral and genetic aspects. We established P. longicornis as a laboratory model for studying genome evolution. We generated genetic resources to understand how the genomes of queens and males evolved under “double-clonality”. Our analyses revealed that “double-clonality” allows the maintenance of two highly divergent queen and male genomes in this P. longicornis. All populations surveyed were found to have a “double-clonal” genetic system. Queens and males sampled throughout the invasive range of the species belonged to two divergent lineages and all genotyped workers appeared hybrids of these two genetic lineages. These results suggest that gene mixing is not occurring anymore in this species.