Molecular evidence for a recent founder event in the UK populations of the Adonis blue butterfly (Polyommatus bellargus)

Harper, Georgina, Maclean, Norman and Goulson, Dave (2008) Molecular evidence for a recent founder event in the UK populations of the Adonis blue butterfly (Polyommatus bellargus). Journal of Insect Conservation, 12 (2). pp. 147-153. ISSN 1366-638X

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Abstract

Contrary to accepted theories of post-glacial colonisation of the UK approximately 10,000 year BP (yBP), historical population data for Polyommatus bellargus suggests the butterfly was either extremely rare or not present before 1775. We examined the phylogeography of the species by sequencing the "hypervariable" mitochondrial control region of UK and French butterflies. Overall, 22 polymorphic nucleotide sites were identified within the control region. French specimens were highly variable, with 17 polymorphic sites, whereas most UK specimens were monomorphic. Average nucleotide diversity was 0.026 (SD 0.016, n = 8) in France, whilst the UK values ranged from 0.00 (n = 6) (for every UK population outside Dorset, n = 43) to 0.01 (SD 0.008, n = 7) (Dorset). The mean number of pairwise differences among the French samples was 7.42, whilst the UK values ranged from 0.00 (all populations except Dorset) to 0.295 (Dorset). One French haplotype differed from the predominant UK version by just a single nucleotide substitution. It seems implausible that the species can have been resident in the UK for 10,000 years without accumulating variation at this mitochondrial region. Thus, the results suggest that either a severe genetic bottleneck or founder event has occurred recently in the UK. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 13:58
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2014 13:58
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/51212
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