In seasonal environments, organisms synchronize their life cycle with the annual cycle of environmental factors. In many insect species, this includes a diapause response: a timed dormant stage that allows to survive harsh winter conditions. Previously, we have shown that larval diapause in the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis is induced by the mother upon exposure to a threshold number of short photoperiods (named switch point) and diapause response follows a latitudinal cline in natural populations. Here, we present a QTL analysis using two lines derived from the extremes of this clinal distribution: a northern line from Oulu, Finland and a southern line from Corsica, France. A genomic region on chromosome 1 and one on chromosome 5 were found to be associated with photoperiodic diapause induction. Interestingly, these regions contain the putative clock genes period, cycle (chromosome 1) and cryptochrome (chromosome 5). An analysis of period polymorphisms in seven European populations showed a clinal distribution of two main haplotypes that correlate with the latitudinal cline for diapause induction.
- clock genes
- latitudinal cline
- Nasonia vitripennis
Paolucci, S., Salis, L., Vermeulen, C. J., Beukeboom, L. W., & van de Zande, L. (2016). QTL analysis of the photoperiodic response and clinal distribution of period alleles in Nasonia vitripennis. Molecular Ecology, 25(19), 4805-4817. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.13802