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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324914

Research Project: Systematics of Lepidoptera: Invasive Species, Pest and Biological Control Agents

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Host plant associated genetic divergence of two Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) stemborers on novel crop plants

Author
item Joyce, Andrea
item Sermeno, Jose Miguel
item Cervantes, Leopoldo
item Paniagua, Miguel
item Scheffer, Sonja
item Solis, M

Submitted to: Ecology and Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/19/2016
Publication Date: 11/15/2016
Citation: Joyce, A.L., Sermeno, J., Cervantes, L.S., Paniagua, M.R., Scheffer, S.J., Solis, M.A. 2016. Host plant associated genetic divergence of two Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) stemborers on novel crop plants. Ecology and Evolution. 6:8632-8644. doi: 10.002/ece3.2541.

Interpretive Summary: Species in the moth genus Diatraea have stemboring larvae that feed on and damage economically important grasses. This study investigated whether these moths have diverged from a native host plant, corn, onto introduced crop plants including sorghum, sugarcane and rice. Molecular methods were used to examine whether or not there was genetic divergence of D. lineolata, the Neotropical cornstalk borer, or D. saccharalis, the Sugarcane borer, populations on the four host plants. This study found two genetically divergent populations of both species and both species had high levels of parasitism on their dominant host plant in the rainy season, yet had low levels of parasitism on sorghum in the dry season. The two genotypes of both species which occur on sorghum suggest that host associated differentiation is occurring on this novel introduced crop plant. This research will be useful to biological control workers and scientists studying the evolution of host plant divergence.

Technical Abstract: Diatraea lineolata and Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) are moths with stemboring larvae that feed and develop on economically important grasses. This study investigated whether these moths have diverged from a native host plant, corn, onto introduced crop plants including sorghum, sugarcane and rice. Diatraea larvae were collected from these four host plants throughout the year in El Salvador, and were reared on artificial diet until moths or parasitoids emerged. Adult moths were subsequently identified to species. Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and mitochondrial dna cytochrome oxidase I (COI) were used to examine whether or not there was genetic divergence of D. lineolata or D. saccharalis populations on the four host plants. Percent parasitism was also determined for each moth on its host plants. D. lineolata was collected from corn in the rainy season and sorghum in the dry season. D. saccharalis was most abundant on sugarcane in the rainy season and sorghum in the dry season. The aflp analysis found two genetically divergent populations of both D. lineolata and D. saccharalis. Both moths had high levels of parasitism on their dominant host plant in the rainy season, yet had low levels of parasitism on sorghum in the dry season. The two genotypes of both moths which occur on sorghum suggest that host associated differentiation is occurring on this novel introduced crop plant.