Interpopulation spread of a parasitic B chromosome is unlikely through males in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans

M. I. Manrique-Poyato, J. Cabrero, M. D. López-León, F. Perfectti, R. Gómez and J. P. M. Camacho,  Heredity,  124:197-206. 2019.

The near-neutral model of B chromosome evolution predicts that population invasion is quite fast. To test this prediction, in 1994, we introduced males of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans from a B-carrying population into a B-lacking population and monitored the evolution of B-chromosome frequency up to 2013. We observed fluctuating very low B frequency across years but, remarkably, the B chromosome introduced (the B2 variant) was found up to 1996 only, whereas the B1 variant was present from 1996 onwards, presumably introduced by fishermen using E. plorans males as bait. Effective introgression of genetic material from the donor population was evidenced by the presence of a satellite DNA on autosome 9 (up to 1999) and the presence of one individual in 2006 showing an ISSR marker profile being highly similar to that found in the donor population. This indicated that the males introduced by us effectively mated with resident females, but donor genes rapidly decreased in frequency after this non-recurrent migration event. Taken together, our results indicated: (i) that the non-recurrent migration event had a slight, transient genetic effect on the recipient population, which was diluted in only a few generations; and (ii) that even with recurrent migration (forced by fishermen) the B chromosome failed to increase in frequency. Bearing in mind that B chromosomes in this species drive through females only, we hypothesize that B chromosomes most likely failed invasion in both migration events because the migrating sex shows no B-drive.