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Random Mating Between Two Widely Divergent Mitochondrial Lineages of Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Laemophloeidae): A Test of Species Limits in a Phosphine-Resistant Stored Product Pest

A. Toon, G. J. Daglish, A. W. Ridley, R. N. Emery, J. C. Holloway, G. H. Walter
Journal of economic entomology 2016 v.109 no.5 pp. 2221-2228
Cryptolestes ferrugineus, Pleistocene epoch, climate change, cryptic species, fumigants, gene flow, microsatellite repeats, mitochondria, pest management, phosphine, population structure, random mating, resistance management, species identification, storage pests
Effective pest management relies on accurate delimitation of species and, beyond this, on accurate species identification. Mitochondrial COI sequences are useful for providing initial indications in delimiting species but, despite acknowledged limitations in the method, many studies involving COI sequences and species problems remain unresolved. Here we illustrate how such impasses can be resolved with microsatellite and nuclear sequence data, to assess more directly the amount of gene flow between divergent lineages. We use a population genetics approach to test for random mating between two 8 ± 2% divergent COI lineages of the rusty grain beetle, Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens). This species has become strongly resistant to phosphine, a fumigant used worldwide for disinfesting grain. The possibility of cryptic species would have significant consequences for resistance management, especially if resistance was confined to one mitochondrial lineage. We find no evidence of restricted gene flow or nonrandom mating across the two COI lineages of these beetles, rather we hypothesize that historic population structure associated with early Pleistocene climate changes likely contributed to divergent lineages within this species.