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Biological characterization and mating compatibility of Helicoverpa gelotopoeon (D.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) populations from different regions in Argentina

  • M.I. Herrero (a1), S.V. Fogliata (a1), A. Vera (a2), A. Casmuz (a2), D. Sosa Gómez (a3), A.P. Castagnaro (a1), G. Gastaminza (a2) and M.G. Murúa (a1)...

Helicoverpa gelotopoeon, the South American bollworm, is a polyphagous pest of the Heliothinae complex that causes damage to soybean, cotton, and chickpea crops. Some species within this complex have developed resistance to genetically modified crops and insecticides, which has led to increased interest in their genetic diversity and population structure. The objective of this study was to characterize biological and reproductive parameters of two populations of H. gelotopoeon collected in two different provinces of Argentina. Intra- and inter-population crosses revealed that H. gelotopoeon populations from both regions of Argentina did not present evidence of pre-zygotic and post-zygotic incompatibility, suggesting that Tucumán and Córdoba populations of H. gelotopoeon belong to a single wide-ranging species. Our data support the occurrence of substantial gene flow between H. gelotopoeon populations, probably due to the widely documented, long-range migratory capacity of Heliothinae species.

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