Genome-wide patterns of differentiation over space and time in the Queensland fruit fly

Ángel David Popa-Báez, Renee Catullo, Siu Fai Lee, Heng Lin Yeap, Roslyn G. Mourant, Marianne Frommer, John A. Sved, Emily C. Cameron, Owain R. Edwards, Phillip W. Taylor, John G. Oakeshott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni, is a major pest of Australian horticulture which has expanded its range in association with the spread of horticulture over the last ~ 150 years. Its distribution in northern Australia overlaps that of another fruit fly pest to which some authors accord full species status, Bactrocera aquilonis. We have used reduced representation genome-wide sequencing to genotype 359 individuals taken from 35 populations from across the current range of the two taxa, plus a further 73 individuals from six of those populations collected 15–22 years earlier. We find significant population differentiation along an east–west transect across northern Australia which likely reflects limited but bidirectional gene flow between the two taxa. The southward expansion of B. tryoni has led to relatively little genetic differentiation, and most of it is associated with a move into previously marginal inland habitats. Two disjunct populations elsewhere in Australia and three on Melanesian islands are each clearly differentiated from all others, with data strongly supporting establishment from relatively few founders and significant isolation subsequently. Resequencing of historical samples from one of the disjunct Australian populations shows that its genetic profile has changed little over a 15-year period, while the Melanesian data suggest a succession of ‘island hopping’ events with progressive reductions in genetic diversity. We discuss our results in relation to the control of B. tryoni and as a model for understanding the genetics of invasion and hybridisation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10788
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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