Genetic Variability of the Giant Black Aphid, Pterochloroides persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae), Based on Sequences of the Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Gene
The giant black aphid Pterochloroides persicae (Cholodkovsky) is one of the most damaging pests of Prunaceous trees. It has been reported in North Africa since 1987. In this study, we have used sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (Cytb), to elaborate the first phylogenetic analysis of this polyphagous pest. Sequences were obtained from 34 Tunisian clones covering different locations and different host plants. A total of 25 haplotypes were identified, among which 21 were unique. Haplotype H7 that was the most frequent would be the ancestral one. The maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree revealed that clones originating from distinct locations clustered into a single consistent group with little variations, reflecting the loss of genetic diversity that would have followed introduction of this pest. These results will have important implications for future studies of the genetic structure of this pest and other closely-related species.
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