Gene use facilitates rapid radiation and independent adaptation to various habitats in the Asian honeybee

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Sci Adv. 2020 18 Dec; 6 (51): eabd3590. doi: 10.1126 / sciadv.abd3590. Presi 2020 Dec.


Animals with recent common descent often adapt in parallel to new but similar habitats, a process often underlined by repeated selection of the same genes. However, on the contrary, few examples have shown the significance of gender use in colonization of multiple disparate habitats. Analyzing 343 genomes of the widespread Asian honeybee, Apis cerana, we have shown that numerous peripheral subspecies radiated from a central ancestral population and adapted independently to various habitats. We found strong evidence of gene reuse in the Leukokinin receptor (Lkr), which has been repeatedly selected in almost all peripheral subspecies. Differential expression and RNA interference dropped revealed the role of Lkr in influencing forage division of labor, suggesting that Lkr facilitates a collective tendency for pollen / nectar pollen as an adaptation to flower changes. Our results suggest that bees can accommodate various flower changes during rapid radiation by tuning an individual forage trend, a seemingly complex process accomplished through gene reuse.

PMID: 33355133 | DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abd3590