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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406718

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Cropping Systems of Warm-season Grasses for Forage, Feedstocks, Syrup, and Turf

Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding Research

Title: Distribution, host range expansion, and genetic diversity of hedgehog grain aphid in central United States

item TAYLOR, MASON - Oklahoma State University
item Harris-Shultz, Karen
item Armstrong, John
item HAYASHIDA, RAFAEL - Oklahoma State University
item Mornhinweg, Dolores - Do
item HOBACK, W. WYATT - Oklahoma State University

Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2023
Publication Date: 12/14/2023
Citation: Taylor, M., Harris-Shultz, K.R., Armstrong, J.S., Hayashida, R., Mornhinweg, D.W., Hoback, W. 2023. Distribution, host range expansion, and genetic diversity of hedgehog grain aphid in central United States. Southwestern Entomologist. 48(4):757-770.

Interpretive Summary: Our research investigated the geographical distribution of the hedgehog grain aphid within the Great Plains of the United States and we also compared the genetic lineage of the aphids that were collected from the survey. The 2 year study found that the distribution of this invasive aphid is shrinking and can only be found in Colorado and Utah, when previously it could also be found in Wyoming and New Mexico. In addition, when we examined genetic regions of the aphid samples, there was no differences indicating that the same strain was found in the shrinking populations. The research provides good evidence that this invasive aphid appears to be in decline and will not cause devastation to small grains like it has in several other countries that it invaded.

Technical Abstract: The hedgehog grain aphid (HGA), Sipha maydis Passerini, is considered a key pest of many cereal crops and pasture grasses around the world. Due to its potential to damage crops, its wide range of host plants, and occurrence across varying climatic conditions, frequent assessments of HGA distribution are needed along with documentation of host use and assessment of genetic differentiation. Field sampling was conducted in 2021 and 2022 across multiple states, including Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Utah. The surveys revealed that HGA was not detected in Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Texas, while it was found only on wild grass species in Colorado and Utah. DNA was isolated from HGA samples that were collected between 2016 and 2022 from Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah from 11 grass hosts. The 18S rDNA and translation elongation factor 1-alpha gene fragments were amplified and sequenced from each sample and no genetic variation was detected. Based on the field surveys and genetic analysis, HGA appears to be established in limited clonal populations on various wild grasses. At present, HGA does not pose a significant threat to small grain crops in the United States, but continued monitoring is necessary because of its broad host range and potential for economic damage, as observed in Argentina.