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Data from: Linkage map of the peppered moth, Biston betularia (Lepidoptera, Geometridae): a model of industrial melanism

Cite this dataset

Van't Hof, Arjen E. et al. (2012). Data from: Linkage map of the peppered moth, Biston betularia (Lepidoptera, Geometridae): a model of industrial melanism [Dataset]. Dryad.


We have constructed a linkage map for the peppered moth (Biston betularia), the classical ecological genetics model of industrial melanism, aimed both at localizing the network of loci controlling melanism and making inferences about chromosome dynamics. The linkage map, which is based primarily on amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and genes, consists of 31 linkage groups (LGs; consistent with the karyotype). Comparison with the evolutionarily distant Bombyx mori suggests that the gene content of chromosomes is highly conserved. Gene order is conserved on the autosomes, but noticeably less so on the Z chromosome, as confirmed by physical mapping using bacterial artificial chromosome fluorescence in situ hybridization (BAC-FISH). Synteny mapping identified three pairs of B. betularia LGs (11/29, 23/30 and 24/31) as being orthologous to three B. mori chromosomes (11, 23 and 24, respectively). A similar finding in an outgroup moth (Plutella xylostella) indicates that the B. mori karyotype (n=28) is a phylogenetically derived state resulting from three chromosome fusions. As with other Lepidoptera, the B. betularia W chromosome consists largely of repetitive sequence, but exceptionally we found a W homolog of a Z-linked gene (laminin A), possibly resulting from ectopic recombination between the sex chromosomes. The B. betularia linkage map, featuring the network of known melanization genes, serves as a resource for melanism research in Lepidoptera. Moreover, its close resemblance to the ancestral lepidopteran karyotype (n=31) makes it a useful reference point for reconstructing chromosome dynamic events and ancestral genome architectures. Our study highlights the unusual evolutionary stability of lepidopteran autosomes; in contrast, higher rates of intrachromosomal rearrangements support a special role of the Z chromosome in adaptive evolution and speciation.

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