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Genetic diversity and structure of two species of ecologically contrasting ants of the genus Camponotus revealed by microsatellites and SNPs: a comparative approach

Grant number: 18/21548-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): December 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Maruyama Mori
Grantee:Ivan Carlos de Freitas Rodrigues
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil


Molecular markers are important tools used in a wide range of genetic, ecological and evolutionary studies to estimate migration rates, delimit species and infer kinship levels. These applications are directly related to the different types of markers and their properties, so that the criterion of choice depends, for example, on the study objective, molecular markers mutation rates, and costs and benefits inherent to each marker. Microsatellites and SNPs, whose features are different, are among the most used molecular tools even for studies with similar objectives, such as kinship and gene flow estimates. Although there is a growing interest in comparing these methods, such studies are usually associated with model organisms. Among non-model organisms, ants stand out because they present important ecological interactions and wide geographic distribution. Recently, one study obtained microsatellite data for two species of the genus Camponotus to evaluate if the genetic structure observed for both species at population level is influenced by the landscape. Considering that there are no comparative studies of both markers with ants, this proposal aims to compare the diversity and genetic structure of populations based on microsatellites and SNPs for two ecologically distinct species of Camponotus. We expect that these markers exhibit distinct but complementary patterns of diversity and genetic structure as microsatellites and SNPs are influenced by evolutionary processes that operate at different scales. Thus, we want to contribute to the knowledge of the ecology and evolution of C. renggeri and C. rufipes as well as to clarify a methodological question.

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