, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 319-333
Date: 30 Jun 2007

Genetic bottleneck in invasive species: the potato tuber moth adds to the list

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Abstract

The level of genetic diversity within populations of introduced species has received increasing attention as an important factor influencing their survival and adaptive potential. We examined this issue with the Guatemalan potato tuber moth Tecia solanivora, an agricultural pest which has successfully invaded South America and the Canary Islands within the last 20 years. To analyse changes in T. solanivora genetic diversity, the mitochondrial marker cytochrome b was sequenced from individuals collected across its known distribution area. High haplotypic diversity was observed in Guatemala, whereas only three haplotypes have been found in Venezuela and a single one in the remaining invaded South American countries and the Canary Islands. Invasive haplotypes were not observed in our samples from Guatemala but are closely related to Guatemalan haplotypes. These results are consistent with the hypotheses that (i) either a few individuals were introduced into Venezuela leading to a strong initial genetic bottleneck, or selection pressure may have lead to the disparition of all but a reduced number of introduced haplotypes, (ii) a second bottleneck occured between Venezuela and Colombia, and (iii) the invasion of the Canary Islands originated from South America. We further reviewed the recent literature to compare this change in genetic diversity with those reported for other invasive species. We quantified the changes in genetic diversity between native and introduced ranges for 57 biological invasions. We found that the genetic homogenization in T. solanivora was among the strongest reported and discuss factors that can explain the success of invasive populations with low genetic diversity.