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Article

Development of a Set of Microsatellite Markers to Investigate Sexually Antagonistic Selection in the Invasive Ant Nylanderia fulva

Department of Entomology, Texas A & M University, 2143 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2143, USA
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Academic Editor: Barbara Mantovani
Insects 2021, 12(7), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070643
Received: 21 June 2021 / Revised: 12 July 2021 / Accepted: 13 July 2021 / Published: 15 July 2021
The two sexes of a species usually exhibit phenotypic differences, such as in behavior, body size or color. They, however, share most of their genomes, preventing fixation of distinct alleles for genes coding for those traits in each sex. The different optima between the sexes on these loci lead to genomic conflicts, called sexually antagonistic selection (SAS). Under SAS, distinct alleles are therefore selected in each sex. In the invasive tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, a genomic region is under SAS, while the rest of the genome is randomly selected in males and females. Here, we provide a suite of 15 polymorphic microsatellite markers located in the SAS genomic region to study the origin and evolution of SAS in N. fulva. These markers have allelic frequencies that are highly different between males and females. All males carry only a subset of the alleles present in the population, while females are reliably heterozygous, with one allele from the male gene pool and a different allele inherited from their mother. The SAS markers may be used to test for the strength and the extent of the genomic regions under SAS in both the native and introduced ranges of N. fulva. These markers may serve to answer similar questions in other introduced species of the Nylanderia genus, yielding insights into the origin and evolution of SAS within and among species of the genus Nylanderia.
Sexually antagonistic selection (SAS) occurs when distinct alleles are differentially selected in each sex. In the invasive tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, a genomic region is under SAS, while the rest of the genome is randomly selected in males and females. In this study, we designed a suite of 15 microsatellite markers to study the origin and evolution of SAS in N. fulva. These SAS markers were polymorphic, with allelic frequencies that are highly different between males and females. All haploid males carry only a subset of the alleles present in the population, while females are reliably heterozygous, with one allele from the male gene pool and a different allele inherited from their mother. In addition, we identified six polymorphic markers not associated with SAS and six markers yielding consistent, yet monomorphic, amplification in the introduced range of this species. Reaction condition optimizations allowed all retained markers to be co-amplified in four PCR mixes. The SAS markers may be used to test for the strength and the extent of the genomic regions under SAS in both the native and introduced ranges of N. fulva, while the set of non-SAS loci may be used to assess the invasion route of this species. Overall, the application of these microsatellite markers will yield insights into the origin and evolution of SAS within and among species of the genus Nylanderia. View Full-Text
Keywords: intralocus sexual conflict; reproductive system; invasive species; haplodiploids; social insects intralocus sexual conflict; reproductive system; invasive species; haplodiploids; social insects
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eyer, P.-A.; Moran, M.N.; Blumenfeld, A.J.; Vargo, E.L. Development of a Set of Microsatellite Markers to Investigate Sexually Antagonistic Selection in the Invasive Ant Nylanderia fulva. Insects 2021, 12, 643. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070643

AMA Style

Eyer P-A, Moran MN, Blumenfeld AJ, Vargo EL. Development of a Set of Microsatellite Markers to Investigate Sexually Antagonistic Selection in the Invasive Ant Nylanderia fulva. Insects. 2021; 12(7):643. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070643

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eyer, Pierre-Andre, Megan N. Moran, Alexander J. Blumenfeld, and Edward L. Vargo. 2021. "Development of a Set of Microsatellite Markers to Investigate Sexually Antagonistic Selection in the Invasive Ant Nylanderia fulva" Insects 12, no. 7: 643. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070643

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