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Comparing the spatial genetic structures of the Flavescence Dorée phytoplasma and its leafhopper vector Scaphoideus titanus

Papura D., Delmotte F., Giresse X., Salar P., Danet J.L., Van Helden M., Malembic-Maher, S., 2009

The Nearctic leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus Ball is the vector of ‘‘Flavescence dore´e’’ phytoplasma (FDp) in European vineyards. We studied the genetic diversity and structure of S. titanus populations in France and of the FDp they carried. A total of 621 S. titanus individuals, sampled in 24 FDp-infected and uninfected vineyards, were genotyped using seven polymorphic microsatellite loci. The mean observed heterozygosity in S. titanus populations was between 0.364 and 0.548. There was evidence of only a low level of population genetic differentiation (mean FST = 0.027) suggesting that there is long-distance gene flow between S. titanus populations. This may be a consequence of the high migration capacity of the vector associated with large effective population size and, at least in part, of passive dispersion over long distances by the transport of grapevine-planting material carrying eggs. For each insect, FDp was detected and typed by nested-PCR followed by RFLP and sequencing of a 674 bp fragment of the FDp map gene. Twelve of the 24 populations were found to be infected by FDp, with the percentage of infected individuals varying from 3% to 29%. FDp isolates were classified into two FDp genetic clusters (FD1 and FD2), which differed by 12–13 SNPs. FD1 genotypes were detected in the insect populations at two sites and the FD2 genotypes in the other ten populations. Both FD1 and FD2 genotypes were found to be transmitted by the insect. No significant relationship was found between the genetic structure of these French S. titanus populations and the distribution of the various FDp strain types they carried. Nevertheless, overall genetic differentiation between FDp-infected and healthy S. titanus ‘‘subsamples’’ was found to be significantly higher than zero. These results suggest that FDp-infected S. titanus individuals are more philopatric (disperse less) than healthy S. titanus.

Published on: 08/29/2016
European logoThis project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°652601
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