Development of a Set of Microsatellite Markers to Investigate Sexually Antagonistic Selection in the Invasive Ant Nylanderia fulva
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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.
author list (cited authors)
Eyer, P., Moran, M. N., Blumenfeld, A. J., & Vargo, E. L.