in montane leaf beetles
Sonoma State University
Introduction & collaborators
(Page 1 of 4)
Adult beetle on a willow
North Fork of Big Pine Creek
Map of three studied drainages.
Black areas indicate ridges above 3,500 meters.
My collaborators and I are
studying local adaptation for the leaf beetle
aeneicollis living in
three drainages of the Sierra Nevada:
- the southern Big Pine Creek
- the middle Bishop Creek
- and the northern Rock Creek
Beetles live along steep
elevation gradients (2000-3000 meters) in these
drainages in eastern California. We are using a
variety of approaches to study thermal adaptation
in these montane populations
- Beetles live in isolated patches with
limited exchange of migrants among them.
- This enhances the potential for
adaptation to local environmental conditions.
- Variation at polymorphic enzymes can
be used to measure genetic divergence among
- I studied enzyme polymorphisms in RC,
BC, and BPC using the polymorphic enzymes adenylate kinase
isomerase (PGI), and
- Differentiation was among drainages
was moderate for most enzymes, but it was much greater
for the enzyme PGI, which indicates that natural
selection acts on PGI alleles.
- My collaborators and I are presently
studying thermal adaptation and the adaptive significance
of PGI variation.
- We have found that beetles in
different drainages experience different air temperatures
and that beetles in the warmest drainage, BPC, produce
significantly more stress proteins than those in cool
- Further research will focus on the
relationship between PGI genotype, environmental
variation, and beetle performance.
Biology | Sonoma State
January 23, 1999 NER