Very Low Genetic Variability in the Indian Queenless Ant Diacamma Indicum

Mol Ecol. 2004 Jul;13(7):2095-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02201.x.


Abstract We developed microsatellite markers and combined them with mitochondrial markers to analyse the population genetic structure of the queenless ant Diacamma indicum. This species, lacking winged queens, is likely to have a restricted female dispersal but exhibits various life history traits suggesting higher dispersal abilities than the other Diacamma species. Only 4 of 11 microsatellites were polymorphic and only 1 had more than 4 alleles over 166 individuals originating from 7 populations from the south of India. Only one mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype was detected throughout India (including one population in the north) and Sri Lanka. Such a level of polymorphism is particularly low compared with other Diacamma species having much smaller ranges in the south of India. A strong genetic differentiation was observed between populations separated by more than a few kilometres. We also analysed the genetic differentiation between the Indian populations and two populations from the Japanese island of Okinawa, which are morphologically similar and might belong to the same species. The genetic differentiation was high for both markers, suggesting an absence of ongoing gene flow between these populations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ants / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Geography
  • Haplotypes / genetics
  • India
  • Japan
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sri Lanka


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial