Evolutionary genomics of Culex pipiens: Global and local adaptations associated with climate, life-history traits and anthropogenic factors

Hosseinali Asgharian, Peter L. Chang, Sergey Lysenkov, Victoria A. Scobeyeva, William Reisen, Sergey V. Nuzhdin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We present the first genome-wide study of recent evolution in Culex pipiens species complex focusing on the genomic extent, functional targets and likely causes of global and local adaptations. We resequenced pooled samples of six populations of C. pipiens and two populations of the outgroup Culex torrentium. We used principal component analysis to systematically study differential natural selection across populations and developed a phylogenetic scanning method to analyse admixture without haplotype data. We found evidence for the prominent role of geographical distribution in shaping population structure and specifying patterns of genomic selection. Multiple adaptive events, involving genes implicated with autogeny, diapause and insecticide resistance were limited to specific populations. We estimate that about 5–20% of the genes (including several histone genes) and almost half of the annotated pathways were undergoing selective sweeps in each population. The high occurrence of sweeps in non-genic regions and in chromatin remodelling genes indicated the adaptive importance of gene expression changes. We hypothesize that global adaptive processes in the C. pipiens complex are potentially associated with South to North range expansion, requiring adjustments in chromatin conformation. Strong local signature of adaptation and emergence of hybrid bridge vectors necessitate genomic assessment of populations before specifying control agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1810
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Culex pipiens
  • Differential selection
  • Histones
  • Population structure
  • Principal component analysis
  • Selective sweeps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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