Genetic variability of green citrus aphid populations from Tunisia, assessed by RAPD markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences

Authors

  • Maha MEZGHANI-KHEMAKHEM,

    1. Unit of Research on Genetics of Plant Insect Pests (GIRC), Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El-Manar, Tunis
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  • Dhia BOUKTILA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Unit of Research on Genetics of Plant Insect Pests (GIRC), Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El-Manar, Tunis
    2. Higher Institute of Biotechnology of Béja, University of Jendouba, Jendouba
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  • Imen KHARRAT,

    1. Unit of Research on Genetics of Plant Insect Pests (GIRC), Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El-Manar, Tunis
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  • Mohamed MAKNI,

    1. Unit of Research on Genetics of Plant Insect Pests (GIRC), Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El-Manar, Tunis
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  • Hanem MAKNI

    1. Unit of Research on Genetics of Plant Insect Pests (GIRC), Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El-Manar, Tunis
    2. Higher Institute of Animation for Youth and Culture, Bir-El-Bey, University of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia
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Dhia Bouktila, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Immunology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University campus, 2092, Tunis, Tunisia. Email: dhia_bouktila2000@yahoo.fr

Abstract

The green citrus aphid Aphis spiraecola (Patch) is one of the major pests of several plant species including economically important crops such as citrus. In this study, we used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I sequences to assess the level and distribution of genetic diversity of A. spiraecola populations reared from Rutaceae and Rosaceae in different regions in Tunisia. RAPD analysis conducted on 141 individuals with 5 primers revealed only 50 polymorphic RAPD markers, indicating a low genetic diversity that might result from the lack of sexual phase for this species in Tunisia. Analysis of molecular variance (amova) showed that the genetic structure was not associated with geographic location or year of collection (P = 0.70 and 0.34, respectively); however, the host-plant had a significant effect on the partitioning of the total genetic diversity (P < 0.01). Multidimensional scaling analysis indicated that the distribution of genetic variability was significantly influenced by the host-plant with no evidence of spatial differentiation. Based on 20 barcode sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome-c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, we revealed the occurrence of two haplotypes in association with the host-plant. Results reported here suggest the occurrence of a limited gene flow between A. spiraecola populations from Rosaceae and Rutaceae and, therefore, a possible host-race status that could be considered in the development of an integrated controlling strategy.

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