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A brave new world for an old world pest: Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Brazil

Tay W.T., Soria M.F., Walsh T., Thomazoni D., Silvie P., Behere G.T., Anderson C., Downes S.. 2013. PloS One, 8 (11) : 7 p..

The highly polyphagous Old World cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera is a quarantine agricultural pest for the American continents. Historically H. armigera is thought to have colonised the American continents around 1.5 to 2 million years ago, leading to the current H. zea populations on the American continents. The relatively recent species divergence history is evident in mating compatibility between H. zea and H. armigera under laboratory conditions. Despite periodic interceptions of H. armigera into North America, this pest species is not believed to have successfully established significant populations on either continent. In this study, we provide molecular evidence via mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and cytochrome b (Cyt b) partial gene sequences for the successful recent incursion of H. armigera into the New World, with individuals being detected at two sites (Primavera do Leste, Pedra Preta) within the State of Mato Grosso in Brazil. The mtDNA COI and Cyt b haplotypes detected in the Brazilian H. armigera individuals are common throughout the Old World, thus precluding identification of the founder populations. Combining the two partial mtDNA gene sequences showed that at least two matrilines are present in Brazil, while the inclusion of three nuclear DNA Exon-Primed Intron-Crossing (EPIC) markers identified a further two possible matrilines in our samples. The economic, biosecurity, resistance management, ecological and evolutionary implications of this incursion are discussed in relation to the current agricultural practices in the Americas. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : gossypium; helicoverpa armigera; brésil

Thématique : Ravageurs des plantes

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