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Genetic study of the forest pest Tomicus piniperda (Col., Scolytinae) in Yunnan Province (China) compared to Europe: new insights for the systematics and evolution of the genus Tomicus.

Duan, Y. ; Kerdelhué, C. ; Ye, H. ; Lieutier, F.

Heredity 2004 Vol 93 No. 5 pp. 416-422;


The pine shoot beetle Tomicus piniperda is present throughout Eurasia. In Europe, it is considered as a secondary pest that rarely causes tree mortality, while heavy damage is observed in Yunnan Province (China) where it exhibits a novel aggregative behaviour during shoot attack. To understand why the ecological characteristics of the European and Chinese populations differ so strongly, we conducted an analysis of population genetic structure on 12 populations in Yunnan and one in JiLin using mitochondrial (COI-COII) and nuclear (ITS2 and 28S rDNA) DNA sequences, and compared the results to those obtained in France. We showed that the Yunnan populations differed markedly from French and JiLin populations. For all three markers, the genetic distances measured between the Tomicus from Yunnan and those from France were similar to distances previously observed between species. Similar distances were found between Yunnan and JiLin populations. Conversely, the distances between French and JiLin individuals were substantially lower, falling in the intraspecific range. We concluded that the individuals sampled in Yunnan belong to a new, undescribed species (Tomicus sp. nov.). We also showed that some individuals belong to the species T. brevipilosus that had never been recorded from this region before. Evolution of the genus Tomicus is discussed in the light of these new results.