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Open AccessArticle

Unraveling the Genetic Structure of the Coconut Scale Insect Pest (Aspidiotus rigidus Reyne) Outbreak Populations in the Philippines

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 3, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan
2
Biological Control Research Unit, Center for Natural Sciences and Environmental Research, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila 1004, Philippines
3
Biology Department, College of Science, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila 1004, Philippines
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(11), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10110374
Received: 12 September 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 24 October 2019 / Published: 26 October 2019
Despite the fact that massive outbreaks of the coconut scale insect pest, Aspidiotus rigidus Reyne (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) are inflicting significant economic losses to the Philippines’ coconut industry, little is known about the population and dispersal history of this invasive pest in the country. Here, we examined the genetic diversity, structure and demographic history of A. rigidus sampled from localities with reported outbreaks from 2014 to 2017. We analyzed the genetic structure of the outbreak populations using mitochondrial COI and nuclear EF-1α markers. Both markers and all methods of population genetic structure analyses indicate clear differentiation among the A. rigidus populations separating the north from the southern regions of the Philippines. Very low or no genetic differentiation was observed within and amongst the populations per geographic region indicating two unrelated outbreak events of the pest originating from two genetically uniform populations isolated in each respective region. Historical data supports the resurgence of an established A. rigidus population in the south which could have been driven by sudden climatic changes or human-induced habitat imbalance. Our study provides valuable information on the genetic differentiation of the two A. rigidus groups that would be useful for developing and implementing biological control strategies against this pest in the Philippines. View Full-Text
Keywords: coconut scale insect; Aspidiotus rigidus Reyne; genetic structure; insect outbreak; mitochondrial and nuclear markers coconut scale insect; Aspidiotus rigidus Reyne; genetic structure; insect outbreak; mitochondrial and nuclear markers
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Serrana, J.M.; Ishitani, N.; Carvajal, T.M.; Almarinez, B.J.M.; Barrion, A.T.; Amalin, D.M.; Watanabe, K. Unraveling the Genetic Structure of the Coconut Scale Insect Pest (Aspidiotus rigidus Reyne) Outbreak Populations in the Philippines. Insects 2019, 10, 374.

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