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Fine-scale genome-wide signature of Pleistocene glaciation in Thitarodes moths (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae), host of Ophiocordyceps fungus in the Hengduan Mountains

Citation

Wang, Zhengyang; Pierce, Naomi (2022), Fine-scale genome-wide signature of Pleistocene glaciation in Thitarodes moths (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae), host of Ophiocordyceps fungus in the Hengduan Mountains, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v41ns1rzm

Abstract

The Hengduan Mountains region is a biodiversity hotspot known for its topologically complex, deep valleys and high mountains. While landscape and glacial refugia have been evoked to explain patterns of inter-species divergence, the accumulation of intra-species (i.e. population level) genetic divergence across the mountain-valley landscape in this region has received less attention. We used genome-wide restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) to reveal signatures of Pleistocene glaciation in populations of Thitarodes shambalaensis (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae), the host moth of parasitic Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Hypocreales: Ophiocordycipitaceae) or "caterpillar fungus” endemic to the glacier of eastern Mt. Gongga. We used moraine history along the glacier valleys to model the distribution and environmental barriers to gene flow across populations of T. shambalaensis. We found that moth populations separated by less than 10 km exhibited valley-based population genetic clustering and isolation-by-distance (IBD), while gene flow among populations was best explained by models using information about their distributions at the local last glacial maximum (LGML, 58 kya), not their contemporary distribution. Maximum likelihood lineage history among populations, and among subpopulations as little as 500 meters apart, recapitulated glaciation history across the landscape. We also found signals of isolated population expansion following the retreat of LGML glaciers. These results reveal the fine-scale, long-term historical influence of landscape and glaciation on the genetic structuring of populations of an endangered and economically important insect species. Similar mechanisms, given enough time and continued isolation, could explain the contribution of glacier refugia to the generation of species diversity among the Hengduan Mountains. --

Funding