Geographic differentiation in the house fly estimated by microsatellite and mitochondrial variation

E. S. Krafsur, M. A. Cummings, M. A. Endsley, J. G. Marquez, J. D. Nason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gene flow over very large geographic scales has been investigated in few species. Examples include Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila subobscura, Drosophila simulans, and the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata). The cosmopolitan house fly, a highly vagile, fecund, colonizing species offers an additional exemplar. Genotypes at seven microsatellite loci were scored in 14 widely separated natural house fly populations from the Nearctic, neotropics, Afrotropics, Palearctic, and Asia. Allelic diversities and heterozygosities differed significantly among populations. Averaged over all populations, Weir and Cockerham's θ = 0.13 and RST = 0.20. Pairwise genetic distance measures were uncorrelated with geographic distance. Microsatellite frequencies were compared with mitochondrial data from 13 of the same populations in which θ = 0.35 and Nei's GST = 0.72. Mitochondrial variation indicated up to threefold greater indices of genetic differentiation than the microsatellites. We were unable to draw any biogeographical inferences from these results or from tree or network topologies constructed from the genetic data. It is likely that high microsatellite diversities, mutation rates, and homoplasy greatly compromised their usefulness in estimating gene flow. House fly colonization dynamics include a large number of primary and secondary colonizations coupled with substantial genetic drift, but no detectable bottlenecks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-512
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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