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Genetic variation and origin of red turpentine beetle (Dendroctonus valens LeConte) introduced to the People's Republic of China

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1 The red turpentine beetle, Dendroctonus valens LeConte, is a recent New World introduction to the People's Republic of China. An outbreak of these beetles has infested over 0.5 million hectares of pine forests.

2 Efforts are underway to suppress this outbreak using biological control measures. However, the wide distribution in the native range of D. valens suggests regional variation of the beetle's biology, predators, and parasitoids. Thus, knowledge of the origin of these beetles can help devise precise and effective control measures.

3 A portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene was sequenced for 218 individuals from 32 populations throughout the native range of D. valens and in China.

4 Haplotype diversity was high. A total of 131 haplotypes were found and Jukes–Cantor corrected nucleotide difference ranged from 0 to 16%. Haplotype diversity ranged from 0.53 to 0.98 and unique haplotypes were found in most populations.

5 Parsimony and statistical parsimony analyses of these haplotypes support the hypothesis that the introduction of D. valens to China was recent and originated from the Pacific North-west of the U.S.A.

6 In addition, the high haplotype diversity also suggests a large or multiple introductions. However, based on the genetics of the beetle's reproductive behaviour, this diversity may also be explained by a limited number of individuals or introductions.
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Keywords: Economic pest; Scolytidae; invasive species; phylogeography; population genetics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management for Pest Insect and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, 100080, People's Republic of China, 2: Lab. de Variación Biológica y Evolución, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas-IPN. Prol. de Carpio y Plan de Ayala s/n, Col. Santo Tomas, C.P. 11340, México D. F. México and 3: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Redding, CA 96002, U.S.A.

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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