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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Crop Production and Pest Control Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #219144

Title: Regional Genetic Vatiation of Populations of the Hessian fly in the Southeastern United States

item Schemerhorn, Brandi

Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/27/2007
Publication Date: 11/27/2007
Citation: Morton, P.K., Schemerhorn, B.J. 2007. Regional Genetic Vatiation of Populations of the Hessian fly in the Southeastern United States. p. 57.Entomological Society of America Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary: In an attempt to understand ancestral and current gene flow between Hessian fly populations, we have used microsatellites to assess the variation between an among populations in the southeastern United States. The impact of this research is to help wheat farmers and breeders to understand how virulence arises and spreads throughout the populations of Hessian fly across the United States in order to help them more effectively deploy wheat cultivars.

Technical Abstract: Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say), is a wheat crop pest in the United States creating millions of dollars of crop losses each year. The primary means of controlling this insect pest is through the use of resistant cultivars. Over the years, this practice has led to selection pressures that have allowed for virulence genes to evolve. Additionally, other characteristics about Mayetiola destructor biology are likely to reduce gene flow between populations, such as limited dispersal, short life span, and rapid mating and oviposition; however, virulence genes continue to emerge and spread. Knowledge of genetic variation within and between populations is important for monitoring the effects of any insect targeted control strategy, including the spread of virulence to deployed resistance genes in wheat, yet interactions on the population level for this insect remains poorly understood. In order to better understand Hessian fly on the population level, microsatellite markers were used to identify the population structure of 10 Hessian fly collections from the Southeastern United States. Population subdivision shows some regional effects and levels of variation within and between populations are examined resulting in a possible need for improved communication within the sub-regions for the control of the Hessian fly in the Southeastern United States.