Invasiveness, chimerism and genetic diversity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adaptation for invasiveness should comprise the capability to exploit and prosper in a wide range of ecological conditions and is therefore expected to be associated with a certain level of genetic diversity. Paradoxically, however, invasive populations are established by only a few founders, resulting in low genetic diversity. As a conceivable way of attaining high genetic diversity and high variance of gene expression even when a small number of founders is involved in invasiveness, I suggest here chimerism, a fusion between different individuals—a common phenomenon found in numerous phyla. The composite entity offers the chimeric organism genetic flexibility and higher inclusive fitness that depends on the joint genomic fitness of the original partners. The ability to form a chimeric entity is also applied to subsequent generations, and consequently, the level of genetic diversity does not decline over generations of population establishment following invasion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6502-6509
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Ecology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • anthropogenic invasion
  • chimerism
  • genetic diversity
  • genetic variance
  • intra-organismal genetic heterogeneity
  • invasiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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