Host-associated differentiation in a pecan and water hickory Aphidomorpha community Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 The Netherlands Entomological Society Host-associated differentiation (HAD) is the formation of genetically distinct, host-associated populations created and maintained by ecologically mediated reproductive isolation. HAD potentially accounts for species origins in parasites, including herbivorous insects. Although case studies testing the occurrence of HAD are accumulating, it is still unclear how common HAD is and which specific ecological traits explain its occurrence. To address these issues, studies are needed that include negative results (i.e., instances in which parasite populations do not exhibit HAD) and test for HAD across communities (i.e., several parasite species on the same set of host species). In this study, HAD was tested in a community of six species of Aphidomorpha (Hemiptera) that share a host-plant pair: pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K.Koch] and water hickory [Carya aquatica (F.Michx) Nutt., both Juglandaceae] trees. All six species are parthenogenetic and three species are endophagous, traits that can exacerbate host-specific selection. AFLP markers were employed to detect the presence of genetically distinct, host-associated populations for each insect species. Strict HAD (i.e., the occurrence of genetically distinct pecan-associated and water hickory-associated genotypes) was found in Phylloxera notabilis Pergande (Phylloxeridae), Phylloxera devastatrix Pergande, and Monelliopsis pecanis Bissel (Aphididae). Monellia caryella Fitch (Aphididae) displayed a pattern of partial HAD (i.e., the occurrence of only a genetically distinct pecan-associated genotype). No HAD was found in Melanocallis caryaefoliae Davis (Aphididae) or Phylloxera texana Stoetzel. The pattern of HAD occurrence in the pecan and water hickory Aphidomorpha community indicated that neither parthenogenesis nor endophagy sufficiently explain the occurrence of HAD in this system.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Medina, R. F., Dickey, A. M., Harrison, K., & Miller, G. L.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Medina, RF||Dickey, AM||Harrison, K||Miller, GL

publication date

  • March 2017