Assessing the Population Structure of Colorado Potato Beetle Populations in Croatia Using Genetic and Geometric Morphometric Tools
The Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) is one of the most successful invasive species worldwide. It has been present in Croatia since 1947, where it has caused significant damage to potato plants and developed resistance to several insecticides. Our study is the first attempt to investigate the population structure of CPBs in Croatia. SNP and GM techniques provided us with data about the population structure of the CPB population. A Bayesian model-based clustering algorithm implemented in STRUCTURE, principal component analysis (PCA), and discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) were used to analyze the genetic structure of CPBs. For the morphometric analysis, the hindwing shape of the same CPB individuals was examined using wing venation patterns. We detected the low genetic and phenotypic variabilities of CPB populations and the presence of a single panmictic population in the study area, well adapted to different environmental conditions, indicating high phenotypic plasticity. Due to such exceptional adaptation of the CPB population, it is necessary to implement an area-wide approach in future pest control management.
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Hrvatska Zaklada za Znanost