Highly diverse and rapidly spreading: Melanagromyza sojae threatens the soybean belt of South America

Abstract

The soybean stem fly, Melanagromyza sojae, an Asian native insect, has successfully established in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia. These countries are among the lead global soybean producing nations, being collectively known as the soybean belt of South America. Infestation levels of M. sojae grow by the year, facilitated by the lack of efficient management strategies. Previous studies have revealed a high number of maternal lineages in M. sojae populations from Southern Brazil and Paraguay, but a comprehensive survey on genetic diversity combining samples from all countries within the South American soybean belt remains absent. We used the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase I partial gene (mtCOI) to characterize specimens of M. sojae collected in fourteen Brazilian sites and one Argentine site, and then combined our mtCOI data with previously published data from Australia, Bolivia, Paraguay, and other Brazilian sites, to investigate genetic diversity in this invasive agricultural pest species. Based on the molecular characterisation of the mtCOI gene, haplotypes Msoj-COI-01 and Msoj-COI-02 have the highest frequencies in the continent. The high genetic diversity found is evidence of introductions involving multiple female founders into the continent, and the high proportion of unique mtDNA haplotypes identified from Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia (~ 50%) suggests potential novel introductions have taken place. The findings from our study will contribute to a better understanding of M. sojae genetic diversity in South America, supporting the development of management strategies for this highly invasive pest and assisting with biosecurity preparedness of other emerging Agromyzidae flies of economic importance.

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AUS-NSW); Santa Cruz department, Bolivia (BOL-SC); Itapúa department, Paraguay (PAR-IT); Alto Paraná department, Paraguay (PAR-AP); Canindeyú department, Paraguay (PAR-CA); Córdoba province, Argentina (ARG-CO). Analyses were conducted in PopART (Leigh and Bryant 2015)

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Data availability

The mtDNA sequences generated during and/or analysed during the current study are publicly available in the Genbank repository. Accession numbers to each mtDNA sequence are provided in the text. Other supporting datasets are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank all soybean growers from Rio Grande do Sul state (Brazil) who allowed our sampling of M. sojae specimens in their properties, and the following professionals and institutions who contributed with samples: Jairo Carbonari (MAPA), Janine Palma (CCGL-Tec), Adriano Bialozor (Secretaria de Agricultura de Tigrinhos), João Dias (Copermil), César Bianchini (AgroBianchini), Clérison Perini (UFSM), Guilherme Padilha (UFSM) and Lucas Hahn (UFSM).

Funding

Wee Tek Tay acknowledges funding from CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Health & Biosecurity (R-08681–01). Henrique Pozebon acknowledges CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) for granting the master scholarship.

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H.P., J.V.C.G. and J.A.A. conceived this research and designed the experiments; H.P., G.A.U., W.T.T. and J.A.A. analysed the data; G.S., K.K., A.F.C.B., L.V., R.P., A.S., M.R.P. and M.G.M. assisted with data discussion; H.P., W.T.T. and J.A.A. wrote the final draft of the paper. All authors read and commented on the information provided in the manuscript and approved the final draft.

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Correspondence to Jonas André Arnemann.

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Pozebon, H., Ugalde, G.A., Smagghe, G. et al. Highly diverse and rapidly spreading: Melanagromyza sojae threatens the soybean belt of South America. Biol Invasions (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02447-7

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Keywords

  • Agromyzidae
  • Genetic diversity
  • Glycine max
  • Molecular characterization
  • Soybean stem fly