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Data from: Population genomics reveals a candidate gene involved in bumble bee pigmentation


Pimsler, Meaghan L.; Lozier, Jeffrey D.; Jackson, Jason M. (2018), Data from: Population genomics reveals a candidate gene involved in bumble bee pigmentation, Dryad, Dataset,


Variation in bumble bee color patterns is well-documented within and between species. Identifying the genetic mechanisms underlying such variation may be useful in revealing evolutionary forces shaping rapid phenotypic diversification. The widespread North American species Bombus bifarius exhibits regional variation in abdominal color forms, ranging from red-banded to black-banded phenotypes and including geographically and phenotypically intermediate forms. Identifying genomic regions linked to this variation has been complicated by strong, near species level, genome-wide differentiation between red- and black-banded forms. Here, we instead focus on the closely related black-banded and intermediate forms that both belong to the subspecies B. bifarius nearcticus. We analyze an RNA sequencing (RNAseq) data set and identify a cluster of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within one gene, Xanthine dehydrogenase/oxidase-like, that exhibit highly unusual differentiation compared to the rest of the sequenced genome. Homologs of this gene contribute to pigmentation in other insects, and results thus represent a strong candidate for investigating the genetic basis of pigment variation in B. bifarius and other bumble bee mimicry complexes.

Usage Notes


National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1457645


North America