Native and introduced Argentine ant populations are characterised by distinct transcriptomic signatures associated with behaviour and immunity

Antoine Felden, Carolina Paris, David G. Chapple, Andrew V. Suarez, Neil D. Tsutsui, Philip J. Lester, Monica A.M. Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Biological invasions can be influenced by trait variation in the invader, such as behavioural traits and ecological factors, such as variation in pathogen pressure. High-throughput nucleotide sequencing has increased our capacity to investigate the genomic basis of the functional changes associated with biological invasions. Here, we used RNA-sequencing in Argentina and California, Australia and New Zealand to investigate if native and introduced Argentine ant populations were characterised by distinct transcriptomic signatures. We focused our analysis on viral pressure and immunity, as well as genes associated with biogenic amines known to modulate key behaviour in social insects. Using a combination of differential expression analysis, gene co-expression network analysis and candidate gene approach, we show that native and introduced populations have distinct transcriptomic signatures. Genes associated with biogenic amines were overall up-regulated in the native range compared to introduced populations. Although we found no significant variation in overall viral loads amongst regions for viruses known to infect Argentine ants, viral diversity was lower in most of the introduced range which was interestingly associated with down-regulation of the RNAi immune pathway, primarily directed against viruses. Altogether, our data show that Argentine ant populations exhibit range-specific transcriptomic signatures, perhaps reflecting regional adaptations that may contribute to the ecological success of introduced populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-126
Number of pages22
JournalNeoBiota
Issue number49
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Linepithema humile
immunity
transcriptomics
ant
biological invasion
gene
biogenic amines
virus
functional change
genes
social insect
network analysis
viruses
social insects
RNA
genomics
viral load
pathogen
Argentina
sequence analysis

Keywords

  • Argentine ant
  • Biogenic amines
  • Biological invasions
  • Immunity
  • RNA-seq
  • Viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science

Cite this

Native and introduced Argentine ant populations are characterised by distinct transcriptomic signatures associated with behaviour and immunity. / Felden, Antoine; Paris, Carolina; Chapple, David G.; Suarez, Andrew V.; Tsutsui, Neil D.; Lester, Philip J.; Gruber, Monica A.M.

In: NeoBiota, No. 49, 01.01.2019, p. 105-126.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Felden, Antoine ; Paris, Carolina ; Chapple, David G. ; Suarez, Andrew V. ; Tsutsui, Neil D. ; Lester, Philip J. ; Gruber, Monica A.M. / Native and introduced Argentine ant populations are characterised by distinct transcriptomic signatures associated with behaviour and immunity. In: NeoBiota. 2019 ; No. 49. pp. 105-126.
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