Analysis of clonal diversity of the peach–potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), in Scotland, UK and evidence for the existence of a predominant clone


B. Fenton Fax: + 44 1382-562426; E-mail:


Clones of the peach–potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), mostly from Scotland, UK were examined using an rDNA fingerprinting technique. Eighty patterns (genotypes) were found amongst the 276 clones. A large number of clones (30%) from all sample areas in Scotland exhibited the same simple pattern, suggesting the presence of a single M. persicae clone. There was no difference in genotype distributions between M. persicae collected from brassica or potato crops, suggesting that host-adapted genotypes have no advantage in the field. Different fingerprints were randomly distributed in the environment, although clones taken from the same leaf were more often the same fingerprint. Highly distinctive fingerprints, which were more widely distributed, suggest that this technique could be used to follow individual clones. In addition to the common clonal type, multiple fingerprint bands were found over successive years, implying that, in Scotland, local overwintering asexual populations are the most common source of M. persicae in the following year.