Research Article: Genome-wide developed microsatellites reveal a weak population differentiation in the hoverfly Eupeodes corollae (Diptera: Syrphidae) across China

Date Published: September 26, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Mengjia Liu, Xiaoqiang Wang, Ling Ma, Lijun Cao, Hongling Liu, Deqiang Pu, Shujun Wei, Maohua Chen.


The hoverfly, Eupeodes corollae, is a worldwide natural enemy of aphids and a plant pollinator. To provide insights into the biology of this species, we examined its population genetic structure by obtaining 1.15-GB random genomic sequences using next-generation sequencing and developing genome-wide microsatellite markers. A total of 79,138 microsatellite loci were initially isolated from the genomic sequences; after strict selection and further testing of 40 primer pairs in eight individuals, 24 polymorphic microsatellites with high amplification rates were developed. These microsatellites were used to examine the population genetic structure of 96 individuals from four field populations collected across southern to northern China. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 5 to 13 with an average of 8.75; the observed and expected heterozygosity varied from 0.235 to 0.768 and from 0.333 to 0.785, respectively. Population genetic structure analysis showed weak genetic differentiation among the four geographical populations of E. corollae, suggesting a high rate of gene flow reflecting likely widespread migration of E. corollae in China.

Partial Text

Eupeodes corollae is one of the most common hoverflies with a worldwide distribution [1, 2]. The larval stage of this species is mostly insectivorous, feeding mainly on aphids [3–5] while adults are pollinators [6–8]. Many hoverfly species are important biological control agents of aphids due to their rapid dispersal and absence of summer diapause compared with other aphidophaga [9]. Understanding the biology and behavior of hoverflies can help in assessing their potential as biological control agents of aphids.

We developed 24 microsatellite markers in E. corollae at a genome-wide scale which provides genetic markers for population genetic analyses of this species. Our preliminary examination of four geographical populations of E. corollae across China suggested weak but geographically lined population differentiation. The results provide insight into migration of E. corollae in China.