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Data from: Population genomics of divergence among extreme and intermediate color forms in a polymorphic insect


Lozier, Jeffrey D.; Jackson, Jason M.; Dillon, Michael E.; Strange, James P. (2016), Data from: Population genomics of divergence among extreme and intermediate color forms in a polymorphic insect, Dryad, Dataset,


Geographic variation in insect coloration is among the most intriguing examples of rapid phenotypic evolution and provides opportunities to study mechanisms of phenotypic change and diversification in closely related lineages. The bumble bee Bombus bifarius comprises two geographically disparate color groups characterized by red-banded and black-banded abdominal pigmentation, but with a range of spatially and phenotypically intermediate populations across western North America. Microsatellite analyses have revealed that B. bifarius in the USA are structured into two major groups concordant with geography and color pattern, but also suggest ongoing gene flow among regional populations. In this study, we better resolve the relationships among major color groups to better understand evolutionary mechanisms promoting and maintaining such polymorphism. We analyze >90,000 and >25,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms derived from transcriptome (RNAseq) and double digest restriction site associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD), respectively, in representative samples from spatial and color pattern extremes in B. bifarius as well as phenotypic and geographic intermediates. Both ddRAD and RNAseq data illustrate substantial genome-wide differentiation of the red-banded (eastern) color form from both black-banded (western) and intermediate (central) phenotypes and negligible differentiation among the latter populations, with no obvious admixture among bees from the two major lineages. Results thus indicate much stronger background differentiation among B. bifarius lineages than expected, highlighting potential challenges for revealing loci underlying color polymorphism from population genetic data alone. These findings will have significance for resolving taxonomic confusion in this species and in future efforts to investigate color-pattern evolution in B. bifarius and other polymorphic bumble bee species.

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Western United States