Global genetic variation in the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) and the endosymbiont Wolbachia: links between Iran and the USA detected




The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), is one of the most serious pests of citrus in the world, because it transmits the pathogen that causes citrus greening disease. To determine genetic variation among geographic populations of D. citri, microsatellite markers, mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) and the Wolbachia–Diaphorina, wDi, gene wsp sequence data were used to characterize Iranian and Pakistani populations. Also, a Bayesian phylogenetic technique was utilized to elucidate the relationships among the sequences data in this study and all mtCOI and wsp sequence data available in GenBank and the Wolbachia database.


Microsatellite markers revealed significant genetic differentiation among Iranian populations, as well as between Iranian and Pakistani populations (FST= 0.0428, p < 0.01). Within Iran, the Sistan–Baluchestan population is significantly different from the Hormozgan (Fareghan) and Fars populations. By contrast, mtCOI data revealed two polymorphic sites separating the sequences from Iran and Pakistan. Global phylogenetic analyses showed that D. citri populations in Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Mexico, Florida and Texas (USA) are similar. Wolbachia, wDi, wsp sequences were similar among Iranian populations, but different between Iranian and Pakistani populations.


The South West Asia (SWA) group is the most likely source of the introduced Iranian populations of D. citri. This assertion is also supported by the sequence similarity of the Wolbachia, wDi, strains from the Florida, USA and Iranian D. citri. These results should be considered when looking for biological controls in either country. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry