Molecular Ecology (2021) 30, 1419-1434

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Katarina C. Stuart, Adam P.A. Cardilini, Phillip Cassey, Mark F. Richardson, William B. Sherwin, Lee A. Rollins and Craig D.H. Sherman (2021)
Signatures of selection in a recent invasion reveal adaptive divergence in a highly vagile invasive species
Molecular Ecology 30 (6), 1419-1434
Abstract: A detailed understanding of population genetics in invasive populations helps us to identify drivers of successful alien introductions. Here, we investigate putative signals of selection in Australian populations of invasive common starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, and seek to understand how these have been influenced by introduction history. We used reduced representation sequencing to determine population structure, and identify Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) that are putatively under selection. We found that since their introduction into Australia, starling populations have become genetically differentiated despite the potential for high levels of dispersal, and that starlings have responded to selective pressures imposed by a wide range of environmental conditions across their geographic range. Isolation by distance appears to have played a strong role in determining genetic substructure across the starling's Australian range. Analyses of candidate SNPs that are putatively under selection indicated that aridity, precipitation and temperature may be important factors driving adaptive variation across the starling's invasive range in Australia. However, we also noted that the historic introduction regime may leave footprints on sites flagged as being under adaptive selection, and encourage critical interpretation of selection analyses in non-native populations.
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Link to article at publishers website

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
molecular biology - genes
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Sturnus vulgaris Australia (South+SE)