Master of Science
Dr. Nusha Keyghobadi
The population genetic structure of the pitcher plant mosquito (Wyeomyia smithii Coquillett 1901) provides insight into its dispersal patterns and behaviour. I developed a suite of 117 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers for W. smithii and, using larvae collected from purple pitcher plants in Algonquin Provincial Park (Ontario, Canada), I studied the population genetic structure of the mosquito across multiple spatial scales. At the finest scale I examined genetic differentiation among samples from different leaves within a single plant, and at the largest scale I examined differentiation among samples from groups of peatlands ~ 26 km apart. Samples from different peatlands, even distant ones, displayed low genetic differentiation, suggesting the mosquito disperses widely among peatlands in a landscape. Significant genetic differentiation among leaves within plants was associated with high relatedness of larvae occurring in the same leaf, suggesting that females lay their eggs in clumps.
Zilic, Kristina M., "Examining population genetic structure of the pitcher plant mosquito (Wyeomyia smithii) across multiple spatial scales using AFLP markers" (2013). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 1334.