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Genetic and Morphological Approach for Western Corn Rootworm Resistance Management

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Department of Agricultural Zoology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2
Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, School of Biology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
3
Centro de Investigación de Estudios Avanzados del Maule, Laboratorio de Ecología y Morfometría Evolutiva, Universidad Católica del Maule, Talca 3466706, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stanislav Trdan
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070585
Received: 13 May 2021 / Revised: 10 June 2021 / Accepted: 22 June 2021 / Published: 24 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
The western corn rootworm (WCR), is one of the most serious pests of maize in the United States. In this study, we aimed to find a reliable pattern of difference related to resistance type using population genetic and geometric morphometric approaches. To perform a detailed population genetic analysis of the whole genome, we used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) markers. For the morphometric analyses, hindwings of the resistant and non-resistant WCR populations from the US were used. Genetic results showed that there were some differences among the resistant US populations. The low value of pairwise FST = 0.0181 estimated suggests a lack of genetic differentiation and structuring among the putative populations genotyped. However, STRUCTURE analysis revealed three genetic clusters. Heterozygosity estimates (HO and HE) over all loci and populations were very similar. There was no exact pattern, and resistance could be found throughout the whole genome. The geometric morphometric results confirmed the genetic results, with the different genetic populations showing similar wing shape. Our results also confirmed that the hindwings of WCR carry valuable genetic information. This study highlights the ability of geometric morphometrics to capture genetic patterns and provides a reliable and low-cost alternative for preliminary estimation of population structure. The combined use of SNPs and geometric morphometrics to detect resistant variants is a novel approach where morphological traits can provide additional information about underlying population genetics, and morphology can retain useful information about genetic structure. Additionally, it offers new insights into an important and ongoing area of pest management on how to prevent or delay pest evolution towards resistant populations, minimizing the negative impacts of resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; Bt toxins; resistance; geometric morphometrics; SNPs Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; Bt toxins; resistance; geometric morphometrics; SNPs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kadoić Balaško, M.; Mikac, K.M.; Benítez, H.A.; Bažok, R.; Lemic, D. Genetic and Morphological Approach for Western Corn Rootworm Resistance Management. Agriculture 2021, 11, 585. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070585

AMA Style

Kadoić Balaško M, Mikac KM, Benítez HA, Bažok R, Lemic D. Genetic and Morphological Approach for Western Corn Rootworm Resistance Management. Agriculture. 2021; 11(7):585. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070585

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kadoić Balaško, Martina, Katarina M. Mikac, Hugo A. Benítez, Renata Bažok, and Darija Lemic. 2021. "Genetic and Morphological Approach for Western Corn Rootworm Resistance Management" Agriculture 11, no. 7: 585. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070585

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