Genome scan of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera for genetic variation associated with crop rotation tolerance

N. J. Miller, M. Ciosi, T. W. Sappington, S. T. Ratcliffe, J. L. Spencer, T. Guillemaud

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Crop rotation has been a valuable technique for control of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera for almost a century. However, during the last two decades, crop rotation has ceased to be effective in an expanding area of the US corn belt. This failure appears to be due to a change in the insect's oviposition behaviour, which, in all probability, has an underlying genetic basis. A preliminary genome scan using 253 amplified fragment-length polymorphism (AFLP) markers sought to identify genetic variation associated with the circumvention of crop rotation. Samples of D. v. virgifera from east-central Illinois, where crop rotation is ineffective, were compared with samples from Iowa at locations that the behavioural variant has yet to reach. A single AFLP marker showed signs of having been influenced by selection for the circumvention of crop rotation. However, this marker was not diagnostic. The lack of markers strongly associated with the trait may be due to an insufficient density of marker coverage throughout the genome. A weak but significant general heterogeneity was observed between the Illinois and Iowa samples at microsatellite loci and AFLP markers. This has not been detected in previous population genetic studies of D. v. virgifera and may indicate a reduction in gene flow between variant and wild-type beetles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-385
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • AFLP
  • Microsatellite
  • Selection
  • Western corn rootworm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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