Population genetic structure of Homalodisca coagulata (Homoptera : Cicadellidae), the vector of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa causing Pierce's disease in grapevines

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In the current study, inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) primers (p-13 and p-15) were used to estimate the population genetic structure of the sharpshooter Homalodisca coagulata (Say) (Homopera: Cicadellidae). Eighteen populations from throughout the United States and a population from Tahiti, French Polynesia, were analyzed. Populations were arbitrarily assigned to three regions: Southeastern, southwestern, and western. Exact tests for population differentiation indicated highly significant differences in marker frequencies among the 18 populations with both primers. Analyses of molecular variance also indicated significant geographic structuring with both primers. A dendrogram based on Reynolds coancestry distance performed with p-15 clustered the U.S. populations into two main groups. The southeastern populations were grouped into one cluster and the southwestern and western populations into a second cluster. Within the western region, dendrograms produced with p-13 and p-15 showed in both cases that two populations (Edison and Bakersfield) clustered as outliers. The average divergence (D) among all populations was 0.099. Divergence values of 0.254, 0.103, and 0.102 were observed when comparing Bakersfield and the southeastern, southwestern, and western populations, respectively. Within the western region, D values for Bakersfield were 1.8- (p-13) and 2.4-fold (p-15) higher than the D of the western populations. The present results suggest that a subset of insects in California may have their origins in the southwestern region (Texas); furthermore, these results are suggestive of more than one founding event in California and/or biotypes or geographic races.


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  • Xylella fastidiosa