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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY-BASED MANAGEMENT OF INSECT PESTS OF CORN

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Title: Genetic Profiling to Determine Potential Origins of Boll Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Captured in a Texas Eradication Zone: Endemicity, Immigration, or Sabotage

Authors
item Kim, Kyung
item Allen, Charles - TEXAS BOLL WEEVIL ERAD.
item Sappington, Thomas

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 19, 2008
Publication Date: December 1, 2008
Citation: Kim, K.S., Allen, C.T., Sappington, T.W. 2008. Genetic Profiling to Determine Potential Origins of Boll Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Captured in a Texas Eradication Zone: Endemicity, Immigration, or Sabotage. Journal of Economic Entomology. 101(6):1729-1736.

Interpretive Summary: Five specimens of adult boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis, were captured nearly simultaneously in pheromone traps clustered near Lubbock, TX, in the Southern High Plains/Caprock eradication zone in late summer 2006. No boll weevils had been captured in this zone or neighboring zones to the north earlier in the year, and only very low numbers had been captured in neighboring zones to the south and east. Therefore, the captures near Lubbock were unexpected. We compared data from DNA markers called microsatellites between the Lubbock weevils and 22 populations previously analyzed from eight U.S. states and four locations in Mexico. The results suggest that the boll weevils captured in Lubbock originated either from nearby areas in Texas or Oklahoma to the north and east, or from east-central Texas near Waxahachie or El Campo. This information will be of use to eradication officials and scientists at the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation as they strive to finally eliminate this pest from western and central Texas.

Technical Abstract: Five specimens of adult boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis, were captured nearly simultaneously in pheromone traps clustered near Lubbock, TX, in the Southern High Plains/Caprock eradication zone in late summer 2006. No boll weevils had been captured in this zone or neighboring zones to the north earlier in the year, and only very low numbers had been captured in neighboring zones to the south and east. Therefore, the captures near Lubbock were unexpected. The five weevils were genotyped at 10 microsatellite loci and compared to a database of genotypes for 22 boll weevil populations sampled from eight U.S. states and four locations in Mexico. Under the assumption that the five captured weevils originated from the same source, populations from eastern locations (MO, AR, TN, MS, LA), Mexico, Big Spring, TX, and Artesia, NM, can be confidently excluded as potential source regions. Although the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Kingsville, TX areas cannot be excluded, they are unlikely sources. Interestingly, the Lubbock population itself is an unlikely source as well, suggesting that the captured weevils probably were not from a low-level endemic population. The most likely sources are nearby areas to the north and east in Texas or southwest Oklahoma, or from areas of east-central Texas represented by Waxahachie and El Campo populations. A west Texas origin is favored from a migration stand point, since these populations are relatively close to Lubbock and the captures were spatially clustered rather than geographically scattered. Favoring an east Texas origin are its much higher populations which could more readily supply emigrants.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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