Why are there so few aphid clones?

Bulletin of Entomological Research
H D LoxdaleWolfgang W Weisser


In Europe, aphids contribute significantly to the so-called 'aerial plankton' during the spring to autumn months (growing season), although individual flight behaviour has been found, especially from molecular ecological studies, to be species-specific in terms of migratory range (ambit). Many of these species individuals may be assumed to be clonal in origin, that is, derived from a single asexual foundress. We are presently studying two specialist aphid species on Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare L. from samples collected in Jena, Germany - Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria (Kaltenbach) and Metopeurum fuscoviride Stroyan, using microsatellite markers. On plotting the number of sets of different multilocus genotypes or MLGs (i.e. multiple clonal repeats: 1, 2, 3 copies, etc.), against the frequency of their occurrence, a negative exponential relationship was found, with populations of both species consisting mostly of single (i.e. unique) or low number repeats rather than larger multiple copy (clonal) MLG repeats. To test this further, microsatellite data collected from a previous study on M. tanacetaria in Jena in the year 2000 and on samples of the Grain aphid, Sitobion avenae (F.), collected in the UK in 1997/8, the latter both in the f...Continue Reading


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Dec 1, 1989·Trends in Ecology & Evolution·V A Drake, R A Farrow

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