Grants and Contracts per year
Grants and Contracts Details
TITLE: Population genomic analysis of the causes and consequences of human-mediated hybridization in insect pest populations. ABSTRACT (250 word limit): Humans are rapidly modifying the environment, both directly and indirectly via climate change. Because all aspects of an insect''s life history are dependent upon environmental cues, insect pests are particularly sensitive to anthropogenic changes. Range expansions and the breakdown of environmental-dependent reproductive isolating barriers can lead to hybridization and, subsequently, adaptive introgression. Adaptive introgression can allow pest populations to evade established integrative pest management practices (e.g., via the transfer of pesticide resistance alleles). Yet, the ecological contexts in which hybridization between pest species occurs as well as the potential for insect pests to acquire novel hosts via adaptive introgression remains unclear. To evaluate the impact of human disturbance on hybridization rates and test the hypothesis that adaptive introgression increases an insect pests'' ability to use novel hosts, I will utilize a pair of hybridizing pine sawflies, Neodiprion lecontei and Neodiprion pinetum, which attack commercially important pine trees. I will 1) assess patterns of introgression across space and their relationship to environmental variables, 2) identify putatively adaptively introgressing genomic regions, and 3) test for host-use alleles in introgressed genomic regions. Together, these data will enhance our understanding of the mechanisms that promote hybridization and the genomic consequences of such hybridization in insect pests. Because this knowledge will inform pest management strategies, this predoctoral research project is directly relevant to the "Plant Health and Production of Plant Products" Priority Area. Because it will provide predoctoral training in diseminating cutting-edge research to the non-scientific community, this project meets the EWD "Advancing Science" goal.
|Effective start/end date||12/15/21 → 12/14/24|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture
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