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Mating system and evolutionary genetics of an invasive African drosophilid : Zaprionus indianus


Zaprionus indianus is an invasive African drosophilid to the Americas and a generalist that poses major economic threats to figs. It was first introduced to Brazil in 1998 and quickly found its way into the literature with reports of its citing in South, Central, and North America. Little work has been done, however, to understand the invasive ability of this fly. Using laboratory and wild populations of Z. indianus, I studied the mating system and conducted a preliminary study on the evolutionary genetics of this species. Results from my studies on its mating system have shown that males experience a delay in sexual maturity that may contribute to inbreeding avoidance, that males seem to hedge their bets by allocating their sperm across several matings, and that individuals from both sexes remate frequently which may ultimately result in an increase in genetic diversity of the colonizing population. Interestingly, the demographic studies show low genetic diversity of this fly worldwide, a continuous population decline starting long before the colonization of Z. indianus of the Americas, and support for a multiple introduction scenario in Mexico from three very different source populations

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