Data from: Aphid specialization on different summer hosts is associated with strong genetic differentiation and unequal symbiont communities despite a common mating habitat
Vorburger, Christoph; Herzog, Jenny; Rouchet, Romain (2017), Data from: Aphid specialization on different summer hosts is associated with strong genetic differentiation and unequal symbiont communities despite a common mating habitat, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5615g
Specialization on different host plants can promote evolutionary diversification of herbivorous insects. Work on pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) has contributed significantly to the understanding of this process, demonstrating that populations associated with different host plants exhibit performance trade-offs across hosts, show adaptive host choice and genetic differentiation, and possess different communities of bacterial endosymbionts. Populations specialized on different secondary host plants during the parthenogenetic summer generations are also described for the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae complex) and are usually treated as different (morphologically cryptic) subspecies. In contrast to pea aphids, however, host choice and mate choice are decoupled in black bean aphids, because populations from different summer hosts return to the same primary host plant to mate and lay overwintering eggs. This could counteract evolutionary divergence, and it is currently unknown to what extent black bean aphids using different summer hosts are indeed differentiated. We addressed this question by microsatellite genotyping and endosymbiont screening of black bean aphids collected in summer from the goosefoot Chenopodium album (subspecies A. f. fabae) and from thistles of the genus Cirsium (subspecies A. f. cirsiiacanthoides) across numerous sites in Switzerland and France. Our results show clearly that aphids from Cirsium and Chenopodium show strong and geographically consistent genetic differentiation, and that they differ in their frequencies of infection with particular endosymbionts. The dependence on a joint winter host has thus not prevented the evolutionary divergence into summer host-adapted populations that appear to have evolved mechanisms of reproductive isolation within a common mating habitat.