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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 12;8(11):e78415. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078415. eCollection 2013.

Genetic diversity and population structure of Sitodiplosis mosellana in Northern China.

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Institute of Plant Protection, Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Crop Pest Control of Henan Province, Key Laboratory of Crop Integrated Pest Management of the Southern of North China, Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, Zhengzhou, China ; Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Beijing, China.


The wheat midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana, is an important pest in Northern China. We tested the hypothesis that the population structure of this species arises during a range expansion over the past 30 years. This study used microsatellite and mitochondrial loci to conduct population genetic analysis of S. mosellana across its distribution range in China. We found strong genetic structure among the 16 studied populations, including two genetically distinct groups (the eastern and western groups), broadly consistent with the geography and habitat fragmentation. These results underline the importance of natural barriers in impeding dispersal and gene flow of S. mosellana populations. Low to moderate genetic diversity among the populations and moderate genetic differentiation (F ST = 0.117) between the two groups were also found. The populations in the western group had lower genetic diversity, higher genetic differentiation and lower gene flow (F ST = 0.116, Nm = 1.89) than those in the eastern group (F ST = 0.049, Nm = 4.91). Genetic distance between populations was positively and significantly correlated with geographic distance (r = 0.56, P<0.001). The population history of this species provided no evidence for population expansion or bottlenecks in any of these populations. Our data suggest that the distribution of genetic diversity, genetic differentiation and population structure of S. mosellana have resulted from a historical event, reflecting its adaptation to diverse habitats and forming two different gene pools. These results may be the outcome of a combination of restricted gene flow due to geographical and environmental factors, population history, random processes of genetic drift and individual dispersal patterns. Given the current risk status of this species in China, this study can offer useful information for forecasting outbreaks and designing effective pest management programs.

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