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The population genetic structure of Corythucha ciliata (Say) ( Hemiptera: Tingidae) provides insights into its distribution and invasiveness
Corythucha ciliata ( Say), an invasive pest originating from North America, causes severe damage on sycamore trees. However, little is known about the population genetics and evolutionary forces underlying the invasiveness of this important pest. In the present study, we use three mitochondrial genes ( COI, ND1 and ND5) and nine microsatellite markers to investigate the population genetics of C. ciliata and retrace its spread through China. The results suggest a low level of genetic diversity in Chinese and European populations of C. ciliata. Our results indicate that populations of C. ciliata have obvious genetic structure, and genetic differentiation is not caused by geographic isolation. In median- joining networks, we observed a higher frequency of shared haplotypes in groups 1 and 3. Based on gene flow and approximate Bayesian computation analyses, we discovered that C. ciliata first invaded the east coast of China and subsequently moved inland. Demographic analysis suggested that populations of C. ciliata in China may have undergone a recent bottleneck effect. Finally, our results suggest that population structure, high gene flow and environmental conditions have favored the broad invasiveness of this important pest.