Using Haplotypes to Monitor the Migration of Fall Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Corn-Strain Populations from Texas and Florida

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Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), infestations in most of North America north of Mexico arise from annual migrations of populations that overwinter in southern Texas and Florida. A comparison of the cytochrome oxidase I haplotype profiles within the fall armyworm corn-strain, the subgroup that preferentially infests corn (Zea mays L.) and sorghum (Sorghum vulgare Pers.), identified significant differences in the proportions of certain haplotypes between the Texas and Florida populations. These proportional differences were preserved as the populations migrated, providing a molecular metric by which the source of a migrant population could be identified. The migratory pattern derived from this method for several southeastern states was shown to be consistent with predictions based on analysis of historical agricultural and fall armyworm infestation data. These results demonstrate the utility of haplotype proportions to monitor fall armyworm migration, and they also introduce a potential method to predict the severity of cotton crop infestations in the short term.

Keywords: Spodoptera frugiperda; fall armyworm; haplotype; migration

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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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