Russian wheat aphids (Diuraphis noxia) in China : native range expansion or recent introduction?

Zhang, Bo, Edwards, O.R., Lang, L., & Fuller, Susan (2012) Russian wheat aphids (Diuraphis noxia) in China : native range expansion or recent introduction? Molecular Ecology, 21(9), pp. 2130-2144.

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In this study, we explore the population genetics of the Russian wheat aphid (RWA) (Diuraphis noxia), one of the world’s most invasive agricultural pests, in north-western China. We have analysed the data of 10 microsatellite loci and mitochondrial sequences from 27 populations sampled over 2 years in China. The results confirm that the RWAs are holocyclic in China with high genetic diversity indicating widespread sexual reproduction. Distinct differences in microsatellite genetic diversity and distribution revealed clear geographic isolation between RWA populations in northern and southern Xinjiang, China, with gene flow interrupted across extensive desert regions. Despite frequent grain transportation from north to south in this region, little evidence for RWA translocation as a result of human agricultural activities was found. Consequently, frequent gene flow among northern populations most likely resulted from natural dispersal, potentially facilitated by wind currents. We also found evidence for the longterm existence and expansion of RWAs in China, despite local opinion that it is an exotic species only present in China since 1975. Our estimated date of RWA expansion throughout China coincides with the debut of wheat domestication and cultivation practices in western Asia in the Holocene. We conclude that western China represents the limit of the far eastern native range of this species. This study is the most comprehensive molecular genetic investigation of the RWA in its native range undertaken to date and provides valuable insights into the history of the association of this aphid with domesticated cereals and wild grasses.

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20 citations in Scopus
18 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 49794
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Diuraphis Noxia, Genetic Structure, Geographic Isolation, Native Range, Population Expansion, Wheat Domestication
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05517.x
ISSN: 1365-294X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS (050100) > Invasive Species Ecology (050103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > GENETICS (060400) > Population Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics (060411)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000) > CROP AND PASTURE PRODUCTION (070300) > Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests Diseases and Weeds) (070308)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 19 Apr 2012 22:46
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2013 22:11

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