, Volume 133, Issue 3, pp 295-306
Date: 10 Oct 2007

Molecular and morphometric variation in chromosomally differentiated populations of the grasshopper Sinipta dalmani (Orthopthera: Acrididae)

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Sinipta dalmani is an Argentine grasshopper whose chromosome polymorphisms have been widely studied through cytogenetic, morphometric, and fitness component analyses. The present work analysed molecular and morphometric variation in seven chromosomally differentiated populations from Entre Rios and Buenos Aires provinces to analyse population structure. Molecular studies were performed studying RAPD loci and morphometric analyses were carried out measuring five morphometric traits. Genetic variability was high in all studied populations and was characterized by a decrease in H as a function of latitude and temperature. Both conventional FST analysis and Bayesian approach for dominant marker showed that there were significant genetic differences among all populations, between provinces, and among populations within provinces. Entre Rios populations showed higher mean numbers of migrants per generation as well as low genetic differentiation and high gene flow with almost all populations whereas Buenos Aires populations may be considered as a result of a more recently colonization. There is considerable morphometric variation between populations and this variation correlates with latitude and temperature. Our results suggest that selection contributes to phenotypic differentiation among populations by moulding the differences in trait means whereas genetic drift is responsible for differences in the matrix of variance-covariance. The gene flow detected is insufficient to prevent phenotypic and chromosome divergences.

Maria I. Remis is a member of Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET).