Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Preprints, Working Papers, ...

Genomic balancing selection is key to the invasive success of the fall armyworm

Abstract : A successful biological invasion involves survival in a newly occupied environment. If a population bottleneck occurs during an invasion, the resulting depletion of genetic variants could cause increased inbreeding depression and decreased adaptive potential, which may result in a fitness reduction. How invasive populations survive in the newly occupied environment despite reduced heterozygosity and how, in many cases, they maintain moderate levels of heterozygosity are still contentious issues1. The Fall armyworm (FAW; Lepidoptera: Spodoptera frugiperda), a polyphagous pest, is native to the Western hemisphere. Its invasion in the Old World was first reported from West Africa in early 2016, and in less than four years, it swept sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, finally reaching Australia. We used population genomics approaches to investigate the factors that may explain the invasive success of the FAW. Here we show that genomic balancing selection played a key role in invasive success by restoring heterozygosity before the global invasion. We observe a drastic loss of mitochondrial polymorphism in invasive populations, whereas nuclear heterozygosity exhibits a mild reduction. The population from Benin in West Africa has the lowest length of linkage disequilibrium amongst all invasive and native populations despite its reduced population size. This result indicates that balancing selection increased heterozygosity by facilitating the admixture of invasive populations from distinct origins and that, once heterozygosity was sufficiently high, FAW started spreading globally in the Old World. As comparable heterozygosity levels between invasive and native populations are commonly observed1, we postulate that the restoration of heterozygosity through balancing selection could be widespread among successful cases of biological invasions.
Document type :
Preprints, Working Papers, ...
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [86 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Emmanuelle d'Alençon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 2:35:54 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 20, 2022 - 9:04:58 AM


Files produced by the author(s)


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0 International License



Sudeeptha yainna, Wee Tek Tay, Estelle Fiteni, Fabrice Legeai, Anne-Laure Clamens, et al.. Genomic balancing selection is key to the invasive success of the fall armyworm. 2020. ⟨hal-02945606⟩



Record views


Files downloads