A genomic approach to inferring kinship reveals limited intergenerational dispersal in the yellow fever mosquito
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bioRxiv (2019)

Understanding past dispersal and breeding events can provide insight into ecology and evolution, and can help inform conservation strategies and the control of pest species. However, parent-off-spring dispersal can be difficult to investigate in rare species and in small pest species such as mosquitoes. Here we develop a methodology for estimating parent-offspring dispersal from the spatial distribution of close kin, using pairwise kinship estimates derived from genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs were scored in 162 Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) collected from eight close-set, high-rise apartment buildings in an area of Malaysia with high dengue incidence. We used the SNPs to reconstruct kinship groups across three orders of kinship. We transformed the geographical distances between all kin pairs within each kinship category into axial standard deviations of these distances, then decomposed these into components representing past dispersal events. Using these components, we isolated the axial standard deviation of parent-off-spring dispersal. From this, we estimated neighbourhood area (129 m), median parent-offspring dispersal distance (75 m), and oviposition dispersal radius within a gonotrophic cycle (36 m). We also analysed genetic structure using distance-based redundancy analysis and linear regression, finding isolation by distance both within and between buildings, and estimating neighbourhood size at 268 individuals. These findings indicate the scale required to suppress local outbreaks of arboviral disease and to target releases of modified mosquitoes for mosquito and disease control. Our methodology is readily implementable for studies of other species, including pests and species of conservation significance.
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