Submitted to: Agricultural and Forest Entomology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2008
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Citation: Miller, N.J., Guillemaud, T., Giordano, R., Siegfried, B.D., Gray, M.E., Meinke, L.J., Sappington, T.W. 2009. Genes, Gene Flow and Adaptation of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 11(1):47-60.
Technical Abstract: The genetics of the western corn rootworm, D. v. virgifera, is a relatively new field of study. Nevertheless, rapid progress has been made in recent years and this trend seems likely to continue. Much of the earliest work on Diabrotica genetics was concerned with phylogenetics and molecular species identification. A natural development from this has been a growing interest in the population genetics of D. v. virgifera. There is also an active Diabrotica genomics community that is making important progress in elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in the species’ adaptation to various anthropogenic selection pressures. An important motivation for the study of D. v. virgifera is its importance as a major pest of agriculture. However, this species can also provide insights of much wider biological importance. It has shown a remarkable ability to adapt its metabolism and behavior to a variety of pest management techniques. It is also a formidable biological invader having first expanded its range to cover most of North America and, more recently, invaded Europe. Thus, D. v. virgifera is an excellent model species that can be used to deepen our understanding of adaptive evolution and biological invasions.