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Genetic relationships among laboratory lines of the egg parasitoid Trissolcus japonicus from native and adventive populations.


Candidate biological control agents of invasive insect pests are increasingly being found in new geographic regions as a result of unintentional introductions. However, testing the degree of genetic differentiation among adventive and native-range populations of these agents is rarely done. We used reduced-representation sequencing of genomic DNA to investigate the relationships among laboratory lines of Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera, Scelionidae), an egg parasitoid and biological control agent of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stal) (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae). We compared sequences from multiple adventive populations in North America (Canada, USA) and Europe (Switzerland) with populations sourced from part of its native range in China. We found considerably more genetic variation among lines sourced from adventive populations than among those within native populations. In the Pacific Northwest of North America (British Columbia, Canada and Washington State, USA), we found preliminary evidence of three distinct genetic clusters, two of which were highly dissimilar from all other lines we genotyped. In contrast, we found that other adventive lines with close geographic proximity (two from Ontario, Canada, three from Switzerland) had limited genetic variation. These findings provide a basis for testing biological differences among lines that will inform their use as biological control agents, and provide evidence to support a hypothesis of several independent introductions of T. japonicus in western North America from different source areas.