ASSESSING POPULATION STRUCTURE IN THE COTTON BOLLWORM, HELICOVERPA ARMIGERA (LEPIDOPTERA: NOCTUIDAE), USING VARIATION IN THE A+T-RICH REGION OF MITOCHONDRIAL DNA
Mar 13, 2017

Crop Protection WCRC Croprotection-australia WCRC1
Abstract                                                                         Back to Table of contents

Helicoverpa armigera is an introduced pest that attacks a wide variety of agricultural crops in Australia, especially cotton.  Genetic variation in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is being examined amongst individuals from different geographical locations to assess population structure.  A 630 bp mtDNA fragment is amplified using primers in conserved genes that span the hyper variable A+T-rich region. Using one of the same primers, direct sequencing of the amplified product yields 260 bp of sequence from individual moths.  To date twenty-two polymorphic nucleotide positions within this sequence has allowed identification of 33 different haplotypes among 119 moths.  The relatively high degree of haplotype diversity suggests a large effective population size and/or a high mutation rate.  Some haplotypes appear to be relatively common and occur in most regions while other, usually rarer, haplotypes are unique to a particular region.  Chi-squared analysis shows Australia-wide heterogeneity that indicates some degree of population differentiation.  Further sampling is underway to test the consistency of this observation, and to assess the value of this marker for determining moth movement patterns.

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