Genetic differentiation and demographic history in Drosophila pachea from the Sonoran Desert. Academic Article uri icon


  • Genetic variation at six microsatellite DNA loci and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) locus was used to estimate gene flow, population structure, and demographic history in the cactophilic Drosophila pachea from the Sonoran Desert of North America, a species that shows a strict association with its senita host cactus (genus Lophocereus). For microsatellite analyses, thirteen populations of D. pachea were sampled, five in mainland Mexico and the southwestern USA, and eight on the Baja California (Baja) peninsula, covering essentially the entire range of the species. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of microsatellite data revealed that populations from both the mainland and the Baja peninsula generally showed little structure, although there were a few exceptions, suggesting some local differentiation and restriction of gene flow within both regions. Pairwise comparisons of F(ST) among each of the mainland and Baja populations showed evidence of both panmixia and population subdivision. AMOVA performed on grouped populations from both the mainland and Baja, however, revealed significant partitioning of genetic variation among the two regions, but no partitioning among localities within each region. Bayesian skyline analyses of the COI data set, consisting of four mainland and seven peninsular populations, revealed population expansions dating to the Pleistocene or late Pliocene in D. pachea from both regions, although regional differences were seen in the estimated timing of the expansions and in changes in effective population size over time.

published proceedings

  • Hereditas

author list (cited authors)

  • Pfeiler, E., Erez, T., Hurtado, L. A., & Markow, T. A.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Pfeiler, Edward||Erez, Tamar||Hurtado, Luis A||Markow, Therese A

publication date

  • May 2007