Marissa A. Streifel, Patrick C. Tobin, Lucia Hunt, Hannah Nadel, John J. Molongoski, Brian H. Aukema; Landscape-Level Patterns of Elevated FS1 Asian Allele Frequencies in Populations of Gypsy Moth (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) at a Northern U.S. Boundary. Environ Entomol 2017 nvx041. doi: 10.1093/ee/nvx041
From a regulatory perspective, Asian gypsy moth is a species complex consisting of three species of Lymantria and two subspecies of Lymantria dispar (L.), differing from the European subspecies, L. dispar dispar (L.), by having consistently flight-capable females. As such, the invasion potential in North America is thought to exceed that of European gypsy moth. USDA-APHIS therefore has a monitoring program to detect Asian gypsy moth at high-risk introduction pathways. Molecular markers are used to improve the diagnosis of Asian gypsy moth. One such marker, which targets the FS1 locus, detects an allele, FS1-A, prevalent in Asian populations but occurring at low frequencies (3–6%) throughout the European gypsy moth’s range in North America. However, some locales, such as Minnesota, exhibit elevated FS1-A frequencies. We studied the distribution of the FS1-A allele in northern Minnesota, 2013–2014, assessing spatial patterns in the distribution of the FS1-A allele using Moran’s I and using spatial regression techniques to examine if the FS1-A allele was associated with putative movement pathways. We also used time series analysis to discern if temporal patterns in FS1-A or possible introduction events occurred. Our results indicated that FS1-A occurred randomly in space and time. We found no evidence that elevated FS1-A frequencies were associated with movement pathways or possible immigration events into this region over the two years. Elevated frequencies of the FS1-A allele within this region could be due to genetic drift and allelic surfing along the expanding population front, or to selection of physiological or behavioral traits.