New Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms in the Cytochrome Oxidase I Gene Facilitate Host Strain Identification of Fall Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Populations in the Southeastern United States

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Several restriction sites in the cytochrome oxidase I gene of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), were identified by sequence analysis as potentially being specific to one of the two host strains. Strain specificity was demonstrated for populations in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, and North Carolina, with an AciI and SacI site specific to the rice (Oryza spp.)-strain and a BsmI and HinfI site joining an already characterized MspI site as diagnostic of the corn (Zea mays L.)-strain. All four of these sites can be detected by digestion of a single 568-bp polymerase chain reaction-amplified fragment, but the use of two enzymes in separate digests was found to provide accurate and rapid determination of strain identity. The effectiveness of this method was demonstrated by the analysis of almost 200 adult and larval specimens from the Mississippi delta region. The results indicated that the corn-strain is likely to be the primary strain infesting cotton (Gossypium spp.) and that an unexpected outbreak of fall armyworm on the ornamental tree Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Sieb. & Zucc. ex Steud. was due almost entirely to the rice-strain.

Keywords: Spodoptera frugiperda; cotton; restriction fragment length polymorphism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2006

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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