Host-based genetic divergence in populations of an exotic spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae).
The morphology, physiology, behaviour and ecology of spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus Russell (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) on different host plants differ greatly. The genetic differences between the A. dispersus populations on 17 host plants were evaluated in the current study. Microsatellite markers were used to identify the presence of host-related genetic variation among A. dispersus populations. Our research clearly shows that there is a significant amount of genetic divergence among the A. dispersus populations on 17 host plants in India. The spiralling whitefly on acalypha and calotropis were genetically more distinct than whiteflies on other host plants. Various population genetic parameters, like heterozygosity, Nei's genetic distance, fixation indices (FST), source of genetic variation in AMOVA, etc. indicate that populations of spiralling whiteflies differ greatly genetically, probably because the spiralling whitefly populations on the Indian sub-continent came from multiple sources. The results of this study have implications for the quarantine protection strategy against this invasive pest.