November 23, 2017

A recent work, led by Darina Koubínová and co-authored by Tomasz Suchan from our group, has been published in Scientific Reports.

In the first genomic study of Maculinea, the authors studied xeric, alpine and hygric ecotypes of the butterfly, each feeding on different host plant and parasiting different ant species. Genome-wide RAD-sequencing showed that the diversity within the species is mainly structured geographically, and not by ecotypes, suggesting convergent evolution of habitat preferences in different areas. Although the previously described ecotypes do not represent evolutionary units, they should be still considered as independent units for conservation, given their unique habitat requirements.

Have a look also at the press release at the web page of Barcelona Biomedical Research Park.

Citation

Koubínová D, Dinca V, Dapporto L, Voda R, Suchan T, Vila R, Alvarez N, 2017. Genomics of extreme ecological specialists: multiple convergent evolution but no genetic divergence in ecotypes of Maculinea alcon butterflies. Scientific Reports 7: 13752 DOI