Submitted to: Entomological News
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/4/2010
Publication Date: 12/15/2010
Citation: Shujuan, L., Sun, L., Schemerhorn, B.J., Oseto, C.Y., Ferris, V.R. 2010. Characterization of Microsatellite Loci in Smicronyx Sodidus, the Gray Sunflower Seed Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Entomological News. 121:195:199. Interpretive Summary: The gray sunflower seed weevil is a major pest of cultivated sunflowers in the United States. The larvae cause severe damage to this economically important crop. In order to gain a better understanding of the population structure of this pest species, we identified and characterized microsatellites from this pest to use for population studies across the Central and Western United States. This information will be of great benefit to those assessing the impact of the weevil on the varieties of sunflowers across the U.S. Chiefly those who will use this information will be specialty crops persons. It gives them a tool to assess populations in a manner that was previously unavailable for them, and ultimately allows them to improve the crops cultivated and harvested.
Technical Abstract: The gray sunflower seed weevil (GSSW) Smicronyx sordidus, native to North America, is one of the major seed pests of cultivated sunflowers in the Central and Northern Great Plains. The larvae of GSSW feed on the kernels of the sunflower seeds, and may cause severe damage to this economically important crop by reducing the seed weight and oil content. Little is known about the population structure of this species. Microsatellites, although widely used for study of populations of other important weevil pests have not been reported for this species or any congeners. We report on the identification and characterization of five primer pairs for microsatellites discovered in GSSW collected from 18 Central and Western states. These novel markers proved to be polymorphic among populations, and will be useful for studies focusing on the population genetics and evolutionary development of sunflower seed weevil species.