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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genetic Differentiation among Geographic Populations of Gonatocerus Ashmeadi: a Primary Egg Parasitoid of the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter

Authors
item DE Leon, Jesus
item Jones, Walker
item Morgan, David - CA.DEPT OF FOOD AND AG
item Mizell, R - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Submitted to: CDFA Pierce's Disease Control Program Research Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 12, 2004
Publication Date: December 7, 2004
Citation: De Leon, J.H., Jones W.A., Morgan, D.J.W., Mizell III, R.F. 2004. Genetic differentiation among geographic populations of Gonatocerus ashmeadi: A primary egg parasitoid of the glassy-winged sharpshooter. In: Proceedings CDFA Pierce's Disease Control Program Research Symposium, December 7-10, 2004, San Diego, California. p. 314-317.

Interpretive Summary: Gonatocerus ashmeadi is a primary egg parasitoid of the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS). A biological control program is currently in progress in California against the GWSS because this leafhopper is a serious economic pest that vectors a strain of bacterium that causes Pierce's disease in grapevines. Genetic studies in naturally-occurring parasitoid populations are important, not only for identifying genetic variation of potential benefit in the selection and screening of biological control organisms, but also for the detection of genetic markers, indicative of specific biological traits or geographic origins. In addition, the recognition of intraspecific variation can be as crucial for the success of biological control programs as is sound species determination. Populations of parasitoids from distinct geographical regions may differ in relevant biological characteristics of importance to biological control. An aim of genetically comparing different populations of the same species of natural enemies is to identify the strain that is most adapted to the environment where it will be released; in other words, the key to successful biological control may not be in another species, but instead in different geographic races or biotypes. Reliable methods are needed for distinguishing various exotic strains of these biological control agents from those indigenous to the U.S., including parasitoids from different states within the U.S. Release of unidentified and uncharacterized strains can make it difficult to document their establishment and dispersal. This study determined the genetic differences among GWSS populations from different areas; the results will be useful in assuring success of efforts aimed at effective biological control the this destructive pest.

Technical Abstract: The aim of genetically comparing different populations of the same species of natural enemies is to identify the strain that is most adapted to the environment where it will be released. In the present study, Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat-Polymerase Chain Reaction (ISSR-PCR) was utilized to estimate the population genetic structure of Gonatocerus ashmeadi. Six populations from throughout the U.S. and a population from Argentina identified as near G. ashmeadi were analyzed. Four populations [California (CA), San Antonio, TX (SATX), Weslaco, TX (WTX-2), and Quincy, Florida (QFL)] were field collected and two [Louisiana (LA) and Weslaco, TX (WTX-1)] were reared. Three ISSR-PCR reactions were pooled to generate 41 polymorphic markers among the six U.S. populations. Nei's expected heterozygosity values (h), including the reared population from Louisiana, were high (9.0-14.3%) for all populations, except for a reared population from WTX-1 (2.9%). The total genetic diversity value (Ht) for the field populations was high (23%). Interestingly, the Florida population that was collected from one egg mass generated the greatest number of polymorphic markers (20) and was observed with the highest gene diversity value (14.3%). All populations, except WTX-2, generated population-specific markers. Comparison of genetic differentiation estimates, which evaluate the degree of genetic subdivision, demonstrated good agreement between GST and ' values, 0.38 and 0.50, respectively for field populations, and 0.44 and 0.50, respectively for all populations. Average genetic divergence (D) indicated that the WTX-1 population was the most differentiated. Average D results from the Argentina population support the taxonomic data that it is a different species. The present results estimate the population genetic structure of G. ashmeadi, demonstrating extensive genetic divergence and restricted gene flow (Nm = 0.83) among populations. These results are of interest to the Pierce's disease/glassy-winged sharpshooter biological control program because the key to successful biological control may not be in another species, but instead in different geographic races or biotypes.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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