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Science. 2005 Nov 11;310(5750):992.

Multiple transatlantic introductions of the western corn rootworm.

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Biologie des Populations en Interaction, Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR) 1112 Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)-Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, 400 Route des Chappes, 06903 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France.


The invasion of Europe by the western corn rootworm, North America's most destructive corn pest, is ongoing and represents a serious threat to European agriculture. Because this pest was initially introduced in Central Europe, it was believed that subsequent outbreaks in Western Europe originated from this area. Using model-based Bayesian analyses of the genetic variability of the western corn rootworm, we demonstrate that this belief is false: There have been at least three independent introductions from North America during the past two decades. This result raises questions about changing circumstances that have enabled a sudden burst of transatlantic introductions.

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