Conservation Genetics

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 387-397

First online:

Phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) performance and fitness effects among Arthropods and its potential role as an adaptive marker in conservation genetics

  • Christopher W. WheatAffiliated withMax Planck Institute for Chemical EcologyDepartment of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of HelsinkiCentre for Ecology and Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter Email author 

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The development of conservation genomics will be greatly aided by the use of neutral as well as adaptive molecular markers. Identifying novel adaptive molecular markers that have general application across diverse taxa is challenging, especially in Arthropods where few if any examples of balanced polymorphisms exist that are shared across species. A review of literature on the Pgi gene provides strong evidence for population level fitness consequences of genetic variation in this gene, across very diverse lineages of Arthropods. While these observations demonstrate the potential of using Pgi as an adaptive molecular marker, this gene is fundamentally different from the adaptive markers MHC and SI. Rather than providing insights into individual genetic health, Pgi appears to have a role in conservation genetics by providing insights into gene by environment interactions, local adaptation and evolutionary significant units, and potentially even morphologically cryptic dispersal phenotypes. These findings argue for studying Pgi variation in more species, as it appears central to the goals of conservation genomics.


Colias eurytheme Glanville fritillary Melitaea cinxia Sierra willow leaf beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis Conservation genomics Arthropoda Review