Lack of nucleotide variability in a beetle pest with extreme inbreeding.

Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
Insect Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.04). 05/1998; 7(2):197-200. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2583.1998.72064.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The coffee berry borer beetle Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) is the major insect pest of coffee and has spread to most of the coffee-growing countries of the world. This beetle also displays an unusual life cycle, with regular sibling mating. This regular inbreeding and the population bottlenecks occurring on colonization of new regions should lead to low levels of genetic diversity. We were therefore interested in determining the level of nucleotide variation in nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of this beetle worldwide. Here we show that two nuclear loci (Resistance to dieldrin and ITS2) are completely invariant, whereas some variability is maintained at a mitochondrial locus (COI), probably corresponding to a higher mutation rate in the mitochondrial genome. Phylogenetic analysis of the mitochondrial data shows only two clades of beetle haplotypes outside of Kenya, the proposed origin of the species. These data confirm that inbreeding greatly reduces nucleotide variation and suggest the recent global spread of only two inbreeding lines of this bark beetle.

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