Population genomics and phylogeography of the boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in the United States, northern Mexico, and Argentina. Academic Article uri icon


  • The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is an important pest of commercial cotton across the Americas. In the United States, eradication of this species is complicated by re-infestations of areas where eradication has been previously successful and by the existence of morphologically similar variants that can confound identification efforts. To date, no study has applied a high-throughput sequencing approach to better understand the population genetic structure of the boll weevil. Furthermore, only a single study has investigated genetic relationships between populations in North and South America. We used double digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) to resolve the population genomic structure of the boll weevil in the southern United States, northern Mexico, and Argentina. Additionally, we assembled the first complete mitochondrial genome for this species and generated a preliminary whole genome assembly, both of which were used to improve the identification of informative loci. Downstream analyses revealed two main lineages-one consisting of populations found geographically west of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range and the second consisting of populations found to the east-were revealed, and both were sub-structured. Population geographic structure was consistent with the isolation by distance model, indicating that geogrpahic distance is likely a primary mechanism driving divergence in this species. Boll weevil populations from Argentina were found to be more closely related to the eastern lineage, suggesting a recent colonization of South America by the eastern lineage, but additional sampling across Mexico, Central America and South America is needed to further clarify their origin. Finally, we uncovered an instance of population turnover or replacement, highlighting the temporal instability of population structure.

published proceedings

  • Evol Appl

altmetric score

  • 3.2

author list (cited authors)

  • Raszick, T. J., Dickens, C. M., Perkin, L. C., Tessnow, A. E., Suh, C., Ruiz-Arce, R., ... Sword, G. A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Raszick, Tyler J||Dickens, C Michael||Perkin, Lindsey C||Tessnow, Ashley E||Suh, Charles P-C||Ruiz-Arce, Raul||Boratynski, Theodore N||Falco, Marcelo R||Johnston, J Spencer||Sword, Gregory A

publication date

  • July 2021