Archaeogenomics Journal Club: Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism scan suggests adaptation to urbanization in an important pollinator, the red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius L.)

This week we discuss a paper by Theodorou et al. 2018, on local adaptation to urbanization in the red-tailed bumblebee.

Zoom link and passcode:
Meeting ID: 683 1104 1721
Passcode: 033163

Link to paper:



Urbanization is considered a global threat to biodiversity; the growth of cities results in an increase in impervious surfaces, soil and air pollution, fragmentation of natural vegetation and invasion of non-native species, along with numerous environmental changes, including the heat island phenomenon. The combination of these effects constitutes a challenge for both the survival and persistence of many native species, while also imposing altered selective regimes. Here, using 110 314 single nucleotide polymorphisms generated by restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing, we investigated the genome-wide effects of urbanization on putative neutral and adaptive genomic diversity in a major insect pollinator, Bombus lapidarius, collected from nine German cities and nine paired rural sites. Overall, genetic differentiation among sites was low and there was no obvious genome-wide genetic structuring, suggesting the absence of strong effects of urbanization on gene flow. We nevertheless identified several loci under directional selection, a subset of which was associated with urban land use, including the percentage of impervious surface surrounding each sampling site. Overall, our results provide evidence of local adaptation to urbanization in the face of gene flow in a highly mobile insect pollinator.

Published Feb. 27, 2022 12:45 PM - Last modified Feb. 27, 2022 12:45 PM