- Population structure of Spodoptera frugiperda maize and rice host forms in South America: are they host strains?
- Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
- Volume | Issue number
- 152 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Determining which factors contribute to the formation and maintenance of genetic divergence to evaluate their relative importance as a cause of biological differentiation is among the major challenges in evolutionary biology. In Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) two host strains have been recognized in the 1980s: the corn-strain prefers maize, sorghum, and cotton, whereas the rice-strain prefers rice and wild grasses. However, it is not clear to what extent these so-called ‘strains’, which have also been called ‘host races’ or even ‘sibling species’, are really associated with host plants. Due to the indeterminate evolutionary status, we will use the term ‘host forms’ (sensu Funk). Here, we characterized populations collected from maize, rice, and wild grasses from three countries in South America. Using two mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) markers and 10 polymorphisms in the triose phosphate isomerase (Tpi) gene, we found various patterns of host association. Two hundred twenty-seven nuclear amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) markers revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations, which was generally correlated to the host from which the larvae were collected. Using a multivariate discriminant analysis and a Bayesian clustering approach, we found that individuals could be grouped into 2-5 genetically distinct clusters, depending on the method. Together, our results indicate that although host-associated differentiation is present in this species, it does not account for all observable genetic variation and other factors must be maintaining genetic differentiation between these forms. Therefore, the term ‘host strains’ should be abandoned and ‘host forms’ should be used instead for S. frugiperda.
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