Spatial genetic structure and restricted gene flow in bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) populations in France

Infect Genet Evol. 2015 Aug;34:236-43. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2015.06.028. Epub 2015 Jun 30.


Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are resurgent blood-sucking ectoparasites that are currently increasing at a rapid rate, particularly in industrialized countries, such as France. Despite the rapid spread of bed bugs, there is a lack of knowledge concerning the population structure and gene flow among C. lectularius populations in France. To fill this gap, a genetic study was conducted using 183 C. lectularius from 14 populations of bed bugs collected in a hotel and in individual apartments in the French Riviera and in the Saint Ouen suburb of Paris. The samples were genotyped using an isolated set of six polymorphic microsatellite loci, including five new loci which were newly isolated and chosen based on prior successful amplification, and one previously described loci (bb15b). The low genetic diversity observed in the samples (of one to five alleles) suggested that most of prospected populations were established by only a few individuals, possibly from a single mated female. The overall genetic differentiation was high and statistically significant (FST=0.556, p<0.0001). Pairwise analysis of the populations indicated significant genetic differentiation for 24 out of the 45 (53%) population pairs associated with FST, ranging from 0.0042 to 0.862. No obvious relationship between the level of genetic differentiation and the geographic distance was observed when considering all samples. Analysis with Structure software identified nine distinct genetic clusters within the dataset. These preliminary results help to elucidate the genetic structure and gene flow of C. lectularius populations in France; however, the available information should be expanded in further studies.

Keywords: Gene flow; Microsatellite typing; Population genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bedbugs / genetics*
  • Gene Flow*
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Variation
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Microsatellite Repeats