Abstracts (first author)
Ant preadaptation to the urbanized territories: case study
Urbanization is now one of the greatest threat caused on wildlife by human activity. Its negative impact consists of habitat and community destruction, high level of chemical, thermal and light pollution etc. Urban entomofauna is greatly depleted, but extinction is not random. Recently it has been shown that black garden ant Lasius niger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is the most robust to the urbanization pressure. It becomes even more abundant in the most disturbed areas in Moscow city. This species is also very interesting for ecological and evolutionary researches because it is widespread, in contrast to the genetically most studied ant species. We sequenced L. niger genome using NGS technology to search for possible adaptation to the urbanization pressure. Several results which can be treated as preadaptation were revealed. For example, detoxification system is often involved in the urban adaptation. We found that this species has an expansion of cytochrome P450 gene subfamily 9 which is unusual to hymenopterans – this subfamily is expanded in humans. This feature could possibly play a role in preadaptation to the urbanized environments. The next stage of the study is the search for the possible selective sweeps in urban populations.