Microsatellite markers from tea green leafhopper Empoasca (Matsumurasca) onukii: A powerful tool for studying genetic structure in tea plantations

Li Zhang, Christopher H. Dietrich, Daozheng Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Tea green leafhopper is one of the most dominant pests in Chinese tea plantations. Recent evidence, including morphological and molecular data, revealed that tea green leafhopper in China is the same species as in Japan, Empoasca (Matsumurasca) onukii Matsuda. Previous morphological study that revealed variation in the structure of the male genitalia within and among populations of this species suggested that there may be significant population-level genetic variation. To provide powerful molecular markers to explore the population genetic diversity and population genetic structure of this pest in China, microsatellite markers were obtained by AFLP of sequences containing repeats (FIASCO). Results: Eighteen polymorphic markers were evaluated for five populations of E. (M.) onukii, Two related empoascine leafhopper species were selected to test the transferability of the markers. Population genetic structure of E. (M.) onukii was detected using Structure analysis, principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and variance analysis. The identified markers were polymorphic with total number of alleles ranging from 6 to 24 per locus, observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.133 to 0.9 and 0.183 to 0.926, respectively, and the polymorphic information content value over all populations varied from 0.429 to 0.911. Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate that microsatellite markers provide valuable information for genetic structure of E. (M.) onukii in Chinese tea plantations. There is obvious genetic differentiation between the two populations in the Southwest tea area. These microsatellite markers will be the powerful tools for genetic studies of E. (M.) onukii and improve understanding of the microevolution of this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112
JournalBMC genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 29 2016


  • Empoasca (Matsumurasca) onukii
  • Genetic differentiation
  • Microsatellite markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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