University of Oulu

Hinojosa, J. C., Montiel-Pantoja, C., Sanjurjo-Franch, M., Martínez-Pérez, I., Lee, K. M., Mutanen, M., & Vila, R. (2023). Diversification linked to larval host plant in the butterfly Eumedonia eumedon. Molecular Ecology, 32, 182– 197.

Diversification linked to larval host plant in the butterfly Eumedonia eumedon

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Author: Hinojosa, Joan C.1; Montiel-Pantoja, Cecilia2; Sanjurjo-Franch, Migue3;
Organizations: 1Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF), Barcelona, Spain
2C/ Gaspar G. Laviana, Lugones (Siero), Spain
3C/ Gozón, Oviedo, Spain
4Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Zoology Unit, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-01-19


It is widely accepted that the relationship between phytophagous insects and their host plants influences insect diversification. However, studies addressed at documenting host-associated genetic differentiation (HAD) and the mechanisms that drive reproductive isolation in host-associated lineages (or host races) are still scarce relative to insect diversity. To uncover further evidence on the HAD processes in Lepidoptera, we investigated the genetic structure of the geranium argus butterfly (Eumedonia eumedon) and tested for isolation by ecology (IBE) vs. isolation by distance (IBD). Genomic data revealed an array of host races (three of them in the same mountain range, the Cantabrian Mountains, northern Iberia) at apparently distinct levels of reproductive isolation. We found a pattern of IBE mediated by HAD at both local and European scales, in which genetic differentiation between populations and individuals correlated significantly with the taxonomic relatedness of the host plants. IBD was significant only when considered at the wider European scale. We hypothesize that, locally, HAD between Geranium-feeding populations was caused (at least partially) by allochrony, that is via adaptation of adult flight time to the flowering period of each host plant species. Nevertheless, the potential reproductive isolation between populations using Erodium and populations using Geranium cannot be explained by allochrony or IBD, and other mechanisms are expected to be at play.

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Series: Molecular ecology
ISSN: 0962-1083
ISSN-E: 1365-294X
ISSN-L: 0962-1083
Volume: 32
Issue: 1
Pages: 182 - 197
DOI: 10.1111/mec.16728
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Financial support for this research was provided by projects CGL2016-76322-P funded by AEI/ERDF and EU, PID2019-107078GB-I00 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, and 2017-SGR-991 funded by Generalitat de Catalunya to Roger Vila, and by grant BES-2017-080641, funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by “ESF Investing in your future” to Joan C. Hinojosa.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Molecular Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.