Genome size evolution in the insect orders Odonata and Hymenoptera

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Ardila Garcia, Alex

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University of Guelph

Abstract

This thesis provides genome size estimates for 187 species from two largely overlooked insect orders: Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) and Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, and ants). Odonate and hymenopteran genome sizes ranged between 0.41-2.34 pg and 0.10-1.14 pg, respectively. In odonates, genome size did not correlate with body size, voltinism, or nymphal habitat. Interestingly, there was some evidence that genome size correlates with flight ability; specifically, small genomes were associated with perchers and large genomes with fliers. In hymenopterans, parasitoid wasps contained some of the smallest genomes reported to date, but their genome size ranges were similar to that of non-parasitoid species. Surprisingly, there was evidence that genome size did not correlate with social complexity. Genomes sizes in eusocial species were usually below 0.55 pg while solitary species displayed the entire range for the order.

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Genome size, Odonata, Hymenoptera, Flight, Social complexity

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