Rapid genetic turnover in populations of the insect pest Bemisia tabaci Middle East: Asia Minor 1 in an agricultural landscape

  • Dinsdale A
  • Schellhorn N
  • De Barro P
 et al. 
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Organisms differ greatly in dispersal ability, and landscapes differ in amenability to an organism's movement. Thus, landscape structure and heterogeneity can affect genetic composition of populations. While many agricultural pests are known for their ability to disperse rapidly, it is unclear how fast and over what spatial scale insect pests might respond to the temporally dynamic agricultural landscapes they inhabit. We used population genetic analyses of a severe crop pest, a member of the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodoidea: Aleyrodidea) cryptic species complex known as Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (commonly known as biotype B), to estimate spatial and temporal genetic diversity over four months of the 2006-2007 summer growing season. We examined 559 individuals from eight sites, which were scored for eight microsatellite loci. Temporal genetic structure greatly exceeded spatial structure. There was significant temporal change in local genetic composition from the beginning to the end of the season accompanied by heterozygote deficits and inbreeding. This temporal structure suggests entire cohorts of pests can occupy a large and variable agricultural landscape but are rapidly replaced. These rapid genetic fluctuations reinforce the concept that agricultural landscapes are dynamic mosaics in time and space and may contribute to better decisions for pest and insecticide resistance management.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aleyrodidea
  • gene flow
  • microsatellites
  • movement
  • population structure
  • whitefly

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  • A. Dinsdale

  • N. A. Schellhorn

  • P. De Barro

  • Y. M. Buckley

  • C. Riginos

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