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Research Project: HIGHER DIPTERA PESTS OF LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: SCREWWORM FLIES

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Title: Genetic variability of spined soldier bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) sampled from distinct field sites and laboratory colonies in the United States

Author
item Mustafa, Fatima - University Of Nebraska
item Ullah, Muhammad Irfan - University Of Nebraska
item Kneeland, Kate - University Of Nebraska
item Coudron, Thomas - Tom
item Stanley, David
item Hoback, Wyatt - University Of Nebraska
item Skoda, Steven
item Molina-ochoa, J - University Of Nebraska
item Foster, John - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2014
Publication Date: 12/1/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5175944
Citation: Mustafa, F., Ullah, M., Kneeland, K.M., Coudron, T.A., Stanley, D.W., Hoback, W.W., Skoda, S.R., Molina-Ochoa, J., Foster, J.E. 2014. Genetic variability of spined soldier bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) sampled from distinct field sites and laboratory colonies in the United States. Florida Entomologist. 97:1631-1639.

Interpretive Summary: The spined soldier bug, a generalist insect predator native to North America, could be useful in biological control efforts against insect pests. They are associated with many economically important crops, including alfalfa, celery, apple, cotton, soybean, and tomato. Developing environmentally friendly and low cost, integrated pest management technologies to boost crop production, including use of biological control, is a difficult but important task to sustainable agriculture. Samples of spined soldier bugs from five widely-separated field locations and two laboratory colonies were used to determine if distant field locations have greater genetic variation than samples from laboratory colonies and whether laboratory-reared colonies will retain genetic diversity and reproductive capability, despite restricted gene flow. No major differences or deficiencies were apparent among the field samples from geographically different areas or among the laboratory-reared samples. Therefore, we concluded that field populations are genetically compatible and laboratory-reared spined soldier bugs could be useful as biological control agents in field introduction or augmentation programs.

Technical Abstract: The spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris (Say), is an important biological control agent for agricultural and forest pests that preys on eggs and larvae of lepidopteran and coleopteran species. Genetic variability among field collected samples from Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Florida, and laboratory-reared colonies was examined using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism-Polymerase Chain Reaction (AFLP-PCR). Four AFLP primer pairs that generated molecular markers were evaluated. Results from Analysis of Molecular Variance showed that the majority of the genetic variation occurred within populations. Nei’s method in analyzing genetic diversity indicated reduced genetic diversity in laboratory populations compared to field populations. No major differences or deficiencies were apparent among the field samples from geographically different areas or among the laboratory-reared samples. Therefore, we conclude that field populations are panmictic and laboratory-reared spined soldier bugs could be useful as biological control agents in the field.