Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/31/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The corn rootworms (Diabrotica sp.)are part of the large group of chysomelid beetles, many of which attack agricultural crops. In the Midwest and Great Plains corn growing regions both the western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera) and the northern corn rootworm (Diabrotica barberi) are major pests. We have begun to examine genetic variation of mitochondrial DNA in local and dispersed geographical populations of northern corn rootworms. The goals include to survey by population diversity and determining if molecular marker systems can be used for identifying strains and emerging phenotypes that might affect area wide control programs. The utility of mtDNA for species and population level analysis is well known. Long PCR followed by RFLP analysis of amplified mitochondrial DNA segments was employed so that about 75% of the mtDNA could be screened with restriction enzymes. PCR-RFLP allows the use of conserved primers and permits the use individual specimens regardless of life stage. To date individuals from fourteen locations in Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas have been examined, including four area wide management sites. Approximately 70 restriction fragments per individual have contributed to the RFLP comparisons and numerous mtDNA haplotypes have been identified. Polymorphism has been observed both within populations and between collection sites. A phylogeographic pattern of genetic diversity appears to be emerging.