Unraveling the hierarchical genetic structure of tea green leafhopper, Matsumurasca onukii, in East Asia based on SSRs and SNPs

Li Zhang, Christopher H. Dietrich, Ye Xu, Zhaofu Yang, Maohua Chen, Thai H. Pham, Cuong C.V. Le, Li Qiao, Masaya Matsumura, Daozheng Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Matsumurasca onukii (Matsuda, R. (1952). Oyo-Kontyu Tokyo, 8(1): 19–21), one of the dominant pests in major tea production areas in Asia, currently is known to occur in Japan, Vietnam, and China, and severely threatens tea production, quality, and international trade. To elucidate the population genetic structure of this species, 1633 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 18 microsatellite markers (SSRs) were used to genotype samples from 27 sites representing 18 geographical populations distributed throughout the known range of the species in East Asia. Analyses of both SNPs and SSRs showed that M. onukii populations in Yunnan exhibit high-genetic differentiation and structure compared with the other populations. The Kagoshima (JJ) and Shizuoka (JS) populations from Japan were separated from populations from China by SNPs, but clustered with populations from Jinhua (JH), Yingde (YD), Guilin (GL), Fuzhou (FZ), Hainan (HQ), Leshan (CT), Chongqing (CY), and Zunyi (ZY) tea plantations in China and the Vietnamese Vinh Phuc (VN) population based on the SSR data. In contrast, CT, CY, ZY, and Shaanxi (SX) populations clustered together based on SNPs, but were separated by SSRs. Both marker datasets identified significant geographic differentiation among the 18 populations. Various environmental and anthropogenic factors, including geographical barriers to migration, human transport of hosts (Camellia sinesis [L.] O. Kuntze) and adaptation of M. onukii to various local climatic zones possibly account for the rapid spread of this pest in Asia. The results demonstrate that SNPs from high-throughput genotyping data can be used to reveal subtle genetic substructure at broad scales in r-strategist insects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere9377
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Matsumurasca onukii
  • SNPs
  • SSRs
  • reduced-representation genome sequencing
  • subtle genetic differentiation
  • tea pest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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