Location: Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects
Project Number: 6036-32000-048-06
Start Date: Mar 15, 2014
End Date: Feb 28, 2017
Targeted sequence data will be generated to increase breadth of coverage and fill in gaps in existing supergene scaffolds. Sequences of the supergene region from a sample of 48 fire ant males will allow detailed description of the haplotype architectures of the two Gp-9 allele classes, with multiple data sources and computational tools employed to estimate gene number and content within the region. Multiple sequence alignments will be compared to infer routes and mechanisms of gene gain, loss, and silencing in the Gp-9 block, and a molecular phylogeny of fire ants will serve as a framework to reconstruct the sequence of specific architectural changes that occurred during supergene evolution. Formal recombination analyses will further test the hypothesis that the Gp-9 region is non-recombining. Sequences of genes located in the Gp-9 supergene will be compared to those of reference genes to detect differences in codon bias, GC (gas chromatographic) content, and rate of molecular evolution. Evidence of selection acting on supergene loci will be obtained by calculating dN/dS statistics and conducting site-frequency and haplotype-frequency spectrum tests.