Large-scale genome-wide study reveals climate adaptive variability in a cosmopolitan pest

Yanting Chen, Zhaoxia Liu, Jacques Regniere, Liette Vasseur, Jian Lin, Shiguo Huang, Fushi Ke, Shaoping Chen, Jianyu Li, Jieling Huang, Geoffrey Gurr, Minsheng You, Shijun You

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Abstract

Understanding the genetic basis of climatic adaptation is essential for predicting species’ responses to climate change. However, intraspecific variation of these responses arising from local adaptation remains ambiguous for most species. Here, we analyze genomic data from diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) collected from 75 sites spanning six continents to reveal that climate-associated adaptive variation exhibits a roughly latitudinal pattern. By developing an eco-genetic index that combines genetic variation and physiological responses, we predict that most P. xylostella populations have high tolerance to projected future climates. Using genome editing, a key gene, PxCad, emerged from our analysis as functionally temperature responsive. Our results demonstrate that P. xylostella is largely capable of tolerating future climates in most of the world and will remain a global pest beyond 2050. This work improves our understanding of adaptive variation along environmental gradients, and advances pest forecasting by highlighting the genetic basis for local climate adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7206
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021

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