Distribution of invasive versus native whitefly species and their pyrethroid knock-down resistance allele in a context of interspecific hybridization.
The invasion success of a species in an agrosystem is greatly influenced by environmental factors such as the use of insecticides, by the intrinsic evolutionary capabilities of the species, and also by interactions with resident species. On the island of La Réunion, the successive invasions of MEAM1 and MED whitefly species over the last 20 years have not only led an increased use of insecticides, but have also challenged the resident IO species. To trace the evolution of the 3 species, and the distribution of the kdr mutation (resistance to pyrethroid) in the para-type voltage-gated sodium channel, we genotyped 41 populations (using neutral nuclear markers) and look at the prevalence of the kdr allele. MEAM1 was predominantly present in agrosystems showing quasi fixation of the resistant kdr allele whereas IO was mainly in natural environments and did not have any resistant allele. Hybridization between the two former species was detected in low frequency but has not led to introgression of resistant alleles in the resident species so far. MED showed a limited distribution in agrosystems but all individuals displayed a resistant allele. These highly contrasting patterns of distribution and resistant mutations between invasive and resident whitefly species are further discussed.