It has been proposed that true fruit flies in the Rhagoletis pomonella species group speciate sympatrically (that is, in the absence of geographic isolation) as a consequence of shifts to previously unexploited host plants1,2. Because Rhagoletis larvae are host-specific fruit parasites and mate selection in these flies is directly coupled to host-plant recognition3–5, variation for larval survivorship and host preference traits can act as genetically based barriers to gene flow. This reduction in gene flow results in the sympatric divergence of fly populations adapted to alternative hosts. The shift of R. pomonella from its native host hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) to domestic apples (Mains pumila) in eastern North America in the past 200 years6 provides an opportunity to determine whether host specialization is sufficient to differentiate populations without earlier periods of geographic isolation. We report finding genetic differentiation between co-occurring hawthorn and apple populations of R. pomonella at a field site near Grant, Michigan. The result confirms that hawthorn and apple flies represent partially reproductively isolated 'host races' and is consistent with a sympatric mode of divergence for these flies.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Bush, G. L. The Taxonomy, Cytology and Evolution of the Genus Rhagoletis in North America (Diptera, Tephritidae) (MCZ, Cambridge, Mass., 1966).
Bush, G. L. Evolution 23, 237–251 (1969).
Bush, G. L. A. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 6, 339–364 (1975).
Prokopy, R. J., Bennett, E. W. & Bush, G. L. Can. Ent. 103, 1405–1409 (1971).
Prokopy, R. J., Bennett, E. W. & Bush, G. L. Can. Ent. 104, 97–104 (1972).
Walsh, B. J. Hort. 2, 338–343 (1867).
Cockerham, C. C. & Weir, B. S. Genet. Res. 30, 121–147 (1977).
Laurie-Alhberg, C. C. & Weir, B. S. Genetics 92, 1295–1314 (1979).
Berlocher, S. H. & Smith, D. C. J. Hered. 74, 337–340 (1983).
Reissig, W. H. & Smith, D. C. Ann. Ent. Soc: Am. 71, 155–159 (1978).
Felsenstein, J. Heredity 35, 124–138 (1981).
Prokopy, R. J., Diehl, S. R. & Cooley, S. S. Oecologia 76, 138–147 (1988).
Prokopy, R. J., Averill, A. L., Cooley, S. S. & Roitberg, C. A. Science 218, 76–77 (1982).
Diehl, S. R. thesis, Univ. Texas at Austin (1984).
Smith, D. C. Nature. 336, 66–67 (1988).
McPheron, B. A., Smith, D. C. & Berlocher, S. H. Nature 336, 64–66 (1988).
Berlocher, S. H. & Bush, G. L. Syst. Zool. 31, 136–155 (1982).
About this article
Cite this article
Feder, J., Chilcote, C. & Bush, G. Genetic differentiation between sympatric host races of the apple maggot fly Rhagoletis pomonella. Nature 336, 61–64 (1988) doi:10.1038/336061a0
PLOS ONE (2019)
Geographic and Ecological Dimensions of Host Plant-Associated Genetic Differentiation and Speciation in the Rhagoletis cingulata (Diptera: Tephritidae) Sibling Species Group
Influence of host plant, geography and pheromone strain on genomic differentiation in sympatric populations of Ostrinia nubilalis
Molecular Ecology (2019)
Current Opinion in Insect Science (2019)
Integrative taxonomy of Abacarus mites (Eriophyidae) associated with hybrid sugarcane plants, including description of a new species
Experimental and Applied Acarology (2019)