Genetic divergence and evidence for sympatric host-races in the highly polyphagous brown tail moth, Euproctis chrysorrhoea (Lepidoptera: Erebidae)

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Abstract

The brown tail moth (BTM) Euproctis chrysorrhoea (Linnaeus 1758) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) is a forest and ornamental pest in Europe and the United States. Its extreme polyphagy, and documented phenological shift associated with host use suggest the presence of distinct host-races. To test this hypothesis, we sampled BTM infesting different host species in several locations along its distribution, and used DNA sequence data (a total of 1,672 bp from cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, elongation factor 1-alpha, and wingless) to produce haplotype networks and reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships between individuals. Population genetic diversity indices pointed out a higher genetic diversity in Europe, particularly in the samples from southern Spain and southern England. Lower F ST values were found between geographically closer populations when compared to more distant ones, but analyses of molecular variance and Mantel tests failed to reveal geographically associated genetic differentiation. However, haplotype networks and phylogenetic reconstructions revealed a previously unknown genetic differentiation within the BTM, with one lineage circumscribed to southern Europe. Although BTM haplotypes did not cluster according to their host plant, host-associated haplotypes were observed within certain geographic regions. Hence, our data support the existence of host-races of BTM within southern Spain and southern England, where populations from different hosts occur in sympatry.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology

Keywords

  • Brown tail moth, Haplotype diversity, Host-races, Molecular phylogeny, Population differentiation, Sympatry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-848
JournalEvolutionary Ecology
Volume28
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes