Title (eng)

6Pgdh polymorphism in wild bulb mite populations: prevalence, environmental correlates and life history trade-offs


Pranav Unnikrishnan   Jagiellonian University

Agata Plesnar-Bielak   Jagiellonian University

Beata Klimek   Jagiellonian University

Szymon Grzesik   Jagiellonian University

Magdalena Trojańska   University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna / Jagiellonian University



Description (eng)

Genetic polymorphism in key metabolic genes plays a pivotal role in shaping phenotypes and adapting to varying environments. Polymorphism in the metabolic gene 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6Pgdh) in bulb mites, Rhizoglyphus robini is characterized by two alleles, S and F, that differ by a single amino acid substitution and correlate with male reproductive fitness. The S-bearing males demonstrate a reproductive advantage. Although the S allele rapidly fixes in laboratory settings, the persistence of polymorphic populations in the wild is noteworthy. This study examines the prevalence and stability of 6Pgdh polymorphism in natural populations across Poland, investigating potential environmental influences and seasonal variations. We found widespread 6Pgdh polymorphism in natural populations, with allele frequencies varying across locations and sampling dates but without clear geographical or seasonal clines. This widespread polymorphism and spatio-temporal variability may be attributed to population demography and gene flow between local populations. We found some correlation between soil properties, particularly cation content (Na, K, Ca, and Mg) and 6Pgdh allele frequencies, showcasing the connection between mite physiology and soil characteristics and highlighting the presence of environment-dependent balancing selection. We conducted experimental fitness assays to determine whether the allele providing the advantage in male-male competition has antagonistic effects on life-history traits and if these effects are temperature-dependent. We found that temperature does not differentially influence development time or juvenile survival in different 6Pgdh genotypes. This study reveals the relationship between genetic variation, environmental factors, and reproductive fitness in natural bulb mite populations, shedding light on the dynamic mechanisms governing 6Pgdh polymorphism.

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CC BY 4.0 International



Animals; Male; Poland; Phosphogluconate Dehydrogenase genetics metabolism; Polymorphism, Genetic; Acaridae genetics physiology; Life History Traits; Female; Arthropod Proteins genetics metabolism; Gene Frequency; Environment

Member of the Collection(s) (1)

o:605 Publications / University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna