Postglacial expansion and genome subdivision in the European grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus


  • This work is part of an ongoing project to study the genetic subdivision of species across Europe, how this may have been shaped by climaticand biotic changes assodated with the Pleistoceneiceages and what role this has played in divergence and speciation. The grasshopper Chorthippw pmllclus isused asa rnodeland a range of molecular markers are being employed- mtDNA, noncoding and coding nuclear DNA. Steven Cooper (from Adelaide, Australia) and Kamal Ibrahim are Senior Reseafih Associates In Godfrey Hewtt's group.

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A noncoding nuclear DNA marker sequence (Cpnl-1) was used to investigate subdivision in the grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus and deduce postglacial expansion patterns across its species range in Europe. Investigation of the spatial distribution of 71 Cpnl-1 haplotypes and estimation of levels of genetic differentiation (KST values) between populations and geographic regions provided evidence for subdivision of C. parallelus into at least five major geographic regions and indicated that the French form of C. parallelus originated after range expansion from a Balkan refugium, Further evidence for subdivision of C. parallelus between Italy and northern Europe suggests that the Alps may have formed a significant barrier to gene flow in this grasshopper.