Tracking the origin of an invasive species: Drosophila subobscura in Argentina

P. J. Fernández Iriarte, J. Balanyà, M. Pascual, F. Mestres, E. R. Hasson, A. Fontdevila, L. Serra

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Biological invasions are excellent opportunities to study the evolutionary forces leading to the adaptation of a species to a new habitat. Knowledge of the introduction history of colonizing species helps tracking colonizing routes and assists in defining management strategies for invasive species. The Palearctic species Drosophila subobscura is a good model organism for tracking colonizations since it was detected in Chile and western North America three decades ago and later on in the Atlantic coast of Argentina. To unravel the origin of the Argentinean colonizers two populations have been analysed with several genetic markers. Chromosomal arrangements and microsatellite alleles found in Argentina are almost similar to those observed in Chile and USA. The lethal allelism test demonstrates that the lethal gene associated with the O5 inversions in Argentina is identical to that found in Chile and USA, strongly supporting the hypothesis that all the American colonizing populations originated from the same colonization event. A secondary bottleneck is detected in the Argentinean populations and the genetic markers suggest that these populations originated from the invasion of 80-150 founding individuals from Chile. © 2008 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-658
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Bottleneck
  • Colonization
  • Inversion polymorphism
  • Lethal genes
  • Microsatellite loci


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