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Title: Diatraea saccharalis history of colonization in the Americas. The case for human-mediated dispersal

item FRANCISCHINI, FABRICIO J.B. - Universidade De Campinas (UNICAMP)
item CORDEIRO, ERICK - Universidade De Sao Paulo
item DE CAMPOS, JAQUELINE - State University Of Campinas
item PEREIRA, ALESSANDRO ALVE - State University Of Campinas
item VIANA, JOAO PAULO G - State University Of Campinas
item WU, XING - University Of Illinois
item WEI, WEI - University Of Illinois
item BROWN, PATRICK - University Of Illinois
item JOYCE, ANDREA - University Of California
item MURUA, GABRIELA - Northwest Agroindustrial Technology Institute
item FOGLIATA, SOFIA - Northwest Agroindustrial Technology Institute
item Clough, Steven
item ZUCCHI, MARIA - Northwest Agroindustrial Technology Institute

Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2019
Publication Date: 7/24/2019
Citation: Francischini, F., Cordeiro, E.M., De Campos, J.B., Pereira, A.S., Viana, J., Wu, X., Wei, W., Brown, P.J., Joyce, A., Murua, G., Fogliata, S., Clough, S.J., Zucchi, M.I. 2019. Diatraea saccharalis history of colonization in the Americas. The case for human-mediated dispersal. PLoS ONE.

Interpretive Summary: The corn borer/sugarcane borer (in the genus Diatraea) is an important pest of corn and sugarcane. Feeding by these insects creates long tunnels through plant stalks, weakening the stalks and providing gateways and passages for opportunistic pathogens that can further damage the crops. The main objective of this study was to investigate the genetic structure and diversity of this insect to determine its geographical origin and possible means of dispersal out of its probable center of origin in the Orinoco Delta River, Venezuela. Our findings showed a clear accordance between genetic structure and the geographical distributions of the sampled populations. We identified three distinct genetic groups, one of them composed of Brazilian populations, another one represented by the Argentine populations, and a third group which comprised of populations from El Salvador and the United States. We suggest that human-mediated migration was the most likely means of spread of D. saccharalis throughout the Americas, with maize most likely being the main vehicle of the first movement, and sugarcane the probable main vehicle of the second. Spread patterns that we suggest show long-distance dispersal among countries. This study gives a better understanding of past D. saccharalis movements, and can guide improved pest management techniques.

Technical Abstract: The sugarcane borer moth, Diatraea saccharalis, is one of the most important pests of sugarcane and maize crops in the Western Hemisphere. The pest is widespread throughout South and Central America, the Caribbean region and the southern United States. One of the most intriguing features of D. saccharalis population dynamics is the high rate of range expansion reported in recent years. To shed light on the history of colonization of D. saccharalis, we investigated the genetic structure and diversity in American populations using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers throughout the genome and sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase (COI). Our primary goal was to propose possible dispersal routes from the putative center of origin that can explain the spatial pattern of genetic diversity. Our findings showed a clear correspondence between genetic structure and the geographical distributions of this pest insect on the American continents. The clustering analyses indicated three distinct groups: one composed of Brazilian populations, a second group composed of populations from El Salvador, Mexico, Texas and Louisiana and a third group composed of the Florida population. The predicted time of divergence predates the agriculture expansion period, but the pattern of distribution of haplotype diversity suggests that human-mediated movement was most likely the factor responsible for the widespread distribution in the Americas. The study of the early history of D. saccharalis promotes a better understanding of range expansion, the history of invasion, and demographic patterns of pest populations in the Americas.