Genetic Structure of The Whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Tunisia, Inferred from RAPD markers
Dhia Bouktila 1*, Salma El-Mnouchi-Skhiri 2*, Maha Mezghani-Khemakhem 3, Hanem Makni 4, Mohamed Makni
The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius, is one of the most damaging pests in agricultural systems worldwide. Knowledge of the genetic structure of this species is crucial for efficient management. In this study, we have used Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RAPD-PCR) to assess the genetic diversity and analyze the genetic structure of this insect pest. Using 120 insect samples, a total of 150 polymorphic markers were revealed. The genetic structure was analyzed, based on the molecular variance (AMOVA), genetic distances (Fst) and multidimensional scaling (MDS). AMOVA revealed that diversity between geographical domains (North vs. South) and between individuals within populations were the most determining factors in the partitioning of the total genetic diversity (50.19% and 44.85%, respectively). In addition, Fst and MDS indicated that the populations of B. tabaci were structured according to their geographical origin. These results strongly suggest that ecological selection pressure should be considered as a key parameter for the development of an integrated controlling strategy.