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Title: Genetic characterization of an emerging aphid pest in sorghum

item MEDINA, RAUL - Texas A&M University
item Armstrong, John

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2015
Publication Date: 12/1/2015
Citation: Medina, R.F., Armstrong, S. 2015. Genetic characterization of an emerging aphid pest in sorghum [abstract]. In: Burow, G.B., Jugulam, M., Valentin, K.E. Proceedings of the 2015 SICNA Meeting, September 1-3, 2015, Manhattan, Kansas. p. 15-16. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: On July 2013, a new aphid in sorghum was observed in Texas. By the end of November the area of influence of this emergent pest included Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Florida. Sorghum fields in these States sustained considerable losses. In some locations, yield losses of 33% to 50% were observed despite having multiple insecticide applications. So far this aphid has been reported on grain sorghum, forage sorghum, sweet sorghum, energycane, and Johnson grass. Morphological and molecular work has identified this aphid as Melanaphis sacchari (Zehntner). The speed, at which this aphid spread in 2013, raises serious concerns about future infestations. We hypothesized that a biotype or host-associated population pre-adapted to sorghum but rare in sugarcane, may have shifted to sorghum and dramatically increased its population numbers on this crop. To test this hypothesis, we genetically characterized this pest in sorghum, sugarcane, and wild vegetation in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Florida to determine its genetic diversity and to identify potential sources of this novel pest in sorghum. The present study provides the population genetic profile of the sugarcane aphid in the US on several of its host-plants. Our data provide an overarching evolutionary framework that will contribute to explain the recent emergence of the sugarcane aphid as a sorghum pest in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Florida.