Population divergence of aggregation pheromone responses in Ips subelongatus in northeastern China

Da-Feng Chen, Ye-Jing Li, Qing-He Zhang, Su-Fang Zhang, Hong-Bin Wang, Zhen Zhang, Li-Lin Zhao, Xiang-Bo Kong
Insect Science 2016, 23 (5): 728-38
The Asian larch bark beetle, Ips subelongatus, is considered to be the major pest of larch within its natural range. We investigated the electrophysiological and behavioral characteristics as well as mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase subunit I sequences of I. subelongatus from 13 geographic populations throughout northeastern China in order to explore population divergence of aggregation pheromone responses and the extent of potential genetic divergence. Electrophysiological analyses showed that antennae of I. subelongatus from all the six tested populations responded strongly to (S)-(-)-ipsenol (100% detection; 0.35-0.73 mV) in gas chromatography (GC)-electroantennographic detection (EAD) analyses, while its antipode, (R)-(+)-ipsenol was antennally inactive. I. subelongatus populations varied in their responses to (R)-(-)- and (S)-(+)-ipsdienol in GC-EAD analyses. Behavioral bioassays demonstrated that (S)-(-)-ipsenol alone was significantly attractive at all the tested sites, supporting its status as a key pheromone component of I. subelongatus, whereas (S)-(+)-ipsdienol was inactive alone. Adding (S)-(+)-ipsdienol to (S)-(-)-ipsenol did not have any effect on the trap catches from some populations in Inner Mongolia. However, (S)-(+)-ipsdienol showed a strong synergistic effect on (S)-(-)-ipsenol from several populations in Jilin and Liaoning Provinces, and a weak synergistic effect from some transition populations in Heilongjiang Province. Furthermore, 27 mitochondrial haplotypes were found among the 13 populations (intraspecific nucleotide divergence, 0.1%-1.1%). Analyses of molecular variance and haplotype networks indicated that different geographic populations have developed some genetic variation but did not form completely independent groups. From an applied point of view, a universal synthetic binary blend of racemic ipsenol and (S)-(+)-ipsdienol might have a potential for monitoring or even mass-trapping of I. subelongatus across northeastern China, even though some populations only use (S)-(-)-ipsenol alone as their active pheromone component.

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