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Genetic structure and diversity of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis in a French bean agroecosystem of Kenya

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 April 2017

P. Hondelmann*
Section Phytomedicine, Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany
J.O. Nyasani
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Nairobi, Kenya Department of Crop Protection, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Embu, Kenya
S. Subramanian
Department of Crop Protection, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Embu, Kenya
R. Meyhöfer
Section Phytomedicine, Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany


Western flower thrips (WFT) (Frankliniella occidentalis) is an introduced pest that harms French bean production in Kenya and other countries. Since new WFT management approaches are being developed, a closer look at the genetic makeup of WFT populations can give new insights into source habitats, crop colonization patterns or host plant preferences, which are prerequisites for integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. For this purpose, we used six microsatellite loci to analyse the genetic structure, diversity and gene flow of WFT sampled on French beans, intercrops and weeds in Kenyan French bean production areas. The results of this preliminary study indicate that the available microsatellites are sufficiently polymorphic for more detailed analyses on local dispersal patterns of WFT in Kenya. Even with the limited data set, the results reveal that F. occidentalis populations show considerable genetic differentiation between host plant species but not between regions, which suggests reduced gene flow and a possible development of biotypes. Possible consequences of the results on IPM are discussed.

Research Paper
Copyright © icipe 2017 

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