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Range-Wide Genetic Analysis of Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) Populations: Estimating the Risk of Spread of White-Nose Syndrome.

Vonhof MJ, Russell AL, Miller-Butterworth CM - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We identified considerable spatial variation in patterns of female dispersal and significant genetic variation between populations in eastern versus western portions of the range.However, patterns of mtDNA differentiation are highly variable, with high ΦST values between most sample pairs (including between all western samples, between western and eastern samples, and between some eastern samples), while low mitochondrial differentiation was observed within two groups of samples found in central and eastern regions of North America.Furthermore, the Alaskan population was highly differentiated from all others, and western populations were characterized by isolation by distance while eastern populations were not.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States of America; Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) is one of the most widespread bat species in North America and is experiencing severe population declines because of an emerging fungal disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS). To manage and conserve this species effectively it is important to understand patterns of gene flow and population connectivity to identify possible barriers to disease transmission. However, little is known about the population genetic structure of little brown bats, and to date, no studies have investigated population structure across their entire range. We examined mitochondrial DNA and nuclear microsatellites in 637 little brown bats (including all currently recognized subspecific lineages) from 29 locations across North America, to assess levels of genetic variation and population differentiation across the range of the species, including areas affected by WNS and those currently unaffected. We identified considerable spatial variation in patterns of female dispersal and significant genetic variation between populations in eastern versus western portions of the range. Overall levels of nuclear genetic differentiation were low, and there is no evidence for any major barriers to gene flow across their range. However, patterns of mtDNA differentiation are highly variable, with high ΦST values between most sample pairs (including between all western samples, between western and eastern samples, and between some eastern samples), while low mitochondrial differentiation was observed within two groups of samples found in central and eastern regions of North America. Furthermore, the Alaskan population was highly differentiated from all others, and western populations were characterized by isolation by distance while eastern populations were not. These data raise the possibility that the current patterns of spread of WNS observed in eastern North America may not apply to the entire range and that there may be broad-scale spatial variation in the risk of WNS transmission and occurrence if the disease continues to spread west.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Pairwise genetic (FST) based on microsatellites and geographic distance values highlighting population pairs within the same cluster (blue dots) and in different clusters (orange dots).
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pone.0128713.g006: Pairwise genetic (FST) based on microsatellites and geographic distance values highlighting population pairs within the same cluster (blue dots) and in different clusters (orange dots).

Mentions: To assess the validity of clusters given the pattern of isolation by distance, we plotted geographic and genetic distance (FST) based on microsatellites according to cluster membership (points identified separately for comparisons within the same cluster vs. in different clusters; Fig 6). There was no clear separation between site pairs in the same vs. different clusters, and low genetic distances for a given geographic distance were observed regularly for site pairs in different clusters. However, partial Mantel tests to examine the association between the matrix of genetic distances and a matrix of cluster membership for the microsatellite data, with the matrix of geographical distances as a covariate, were significant (P < 0.05 in all cases) regardless of coding scheme (see Methods) or genetic distance measure (FST or G”ST) used.


Range-Wide Genetic Analysis of Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) Populations: Estimating the Risk of Spread of White-Nose Syndrome.

Vonhof MJ, Russell AL, Miller-Butterworth CM - PLoS ONE (2015)

Pairwise genetic (FST) based on microsatellites and geographic distance values highlighting population pairs within the same cluster (blue dots) and in different clusters (orange dots).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4495924&req=5

pone.0128713.g006: Pairwise genetic (FST) based on microsatellites and geographic distance values highlighting population pairs within the same cluster (blue dots) and in different clusters (orange dots).
Mentions: To assess the validity of clusters given the pattern of isolation by distance, we plotted geographic and genetic distance (FST) based on microsatellites according to cluster membership (points identified separately for comparisons within the same cluster vs. in different clusters; Fig 6). There was no clear separation between site pairs in the same vs. different clusters, and low genetic distances for a given geographic distance were observed regularly for site pairs in different clusters. However, partial Mantel tests to examine the association between the matrix of genetic distances and a matrix of cluster membership for the microsatellite data, with the matrix of geographical distances as a covariate, were significant (P < 0.05 in all cases) regardless of coding scheme (see Methods) or genetic distance measure (FST or G”ST) used.

Bottom Line: We identified considerable spatial variation in patterns of female dispersal and significant genetic variation between populations in eastern versus western portions of the range.However, patterns of mtDNA differentiation are highly variable, with high ΦST values between most sample pairs (including between all western samples, between western and eastern samples, and between some eastern samples), while low mitochondrial differentiation was observed within two groups of samples found in central and eastern regions of North America.Furthermore, the Alaskan population was highly differentiated from all others, and western populations were characterized by isolation by distance while eastern populations were not.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States of America; Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) is one of the most widespread bat species in North America and is experiencing severe population declines because of an emerging fungal disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS). To manage and conserve this species effectively it is important to understand patterns of gene flow and population connectivity to identify possible barriers to disease transmission. However, little is known about the population genetic structure of little brown bats, and to date, no studies have investigated population structure across their entire range. We examined mitochondrial DNA and nuclear microsatellites in 637 little brown bats (including all currently recognized subspecific lineages) from 29 locations across North America, to assess levels of genetic variation and population differentiation across the range of the species, including areas affected by WNS and those currently unaffected. We identified considerable spatial variation in patterns of female dispersal and significant genetic variation between populations in eastern versus western portions of the range. Overall levels of nuclear genetic differentiation were low, and there is no evidence for any major barriers to gene flow across their range. However, patterns of mtDNA differentiation are highly variable, with high ΦST values between most sample pairs (including between all western samples, between western and eastern samples, and between some eastern samples), while low mitochondrial differentiation was observed within two groups of samples found in central and eastern regions of North America. Furthermore, the Alaskan population was highly differentiated from all others, and western populations were characterized by isolation by distance while eastern populations were not. These data raise the possibility that the current patterns of spread of WNS observed in eastern North America may not apply to the entire range and that there may be broad-scale spatial variation in the risk of WNS transmission and occurrence if the disease continues to spread west.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus