Genetic architecture of dispersal behaviour in the post-harvest pest and model organism Tribolium castaneum

Pointer, Michael D. ORCID:, Spurgin, Lewis G., Gage, Matthew J.G., McMullan, Mark and Richardson, David S. ORCID: (2023) Genetic architecture of dispersal behaviour in the post-harvest pest and model organism Tribolium castaneum. Heredity, 131 (4). pp. 253-262. ISSN 0018-067X

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Dispersal behaviour is an important aspect of the life-history of animals. However, the genetic architecture of dispersal-related traits is often obscure or unknown, even in well studied species. Tribolium castaneum is a globally significant post-harvest pest and established model organism, yet studies of its dispersal have shown ambiguous results and the genetic basis of this behaviour remains unresolved. We combine experimental evolution and agent-based modelling to investigate the number of loci underlying dispersal in T. castaneum, and whether the trait is sex-linked. Our findings demonstrate rapid evolution of dispersal behaviour under selection. We find no evidence of sex-biases in the dispersal behaviour of the offspring of crosses, supporting an autosomal genetic basis of the trait. Moreover, simulated data approximates experimental data under simulated scenarios where the dispersal trait is controlled by one or few loci, but not many loci. Levels of dispersal in experimentally inbred lines, compared with simulations, indicate that a single locus model is not well supported. Taken together, these lines of evidence support an oligogenic architecture underlying dispersal in Tribolium castaneum. These results have implications for applied pest management and for our understanding of the evolution of dispersal in the coleoptera, the world’s most species-rich order.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: We are grateful to George West for his part in creating the inbred lines used in this study, and to three anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) studentship to MDP (BB/M011216/1), through the Norwich Research Park Doctoral Training Partnership, a BBSRC Future Leader fellowship to LGS (BB/N011759/1). Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s).
Uncontrolled Keywords: genetics,genetics(clinical) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1300/1311
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2024 08:32
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 08:32
DOI: 10.1038/s41437-023-00641-6


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