Novel real-time PCR based assays for differentiating fall armyworm strains using four single nucleotide polymorphisms Academic Article uri icon


  • The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is a polyphagous global pest with a preference for gramineous crops such as corn, sorghum and pasture grasses. This species is comprised of two morphologically identical but genetically distinct host strains known as the corn and rice strains, which can complicate pest management approaches. Two molecular markers are commonly used to differentiate between strains, however, discordance between these markers can lead to inconclusive strain identification. Here, we used double digest restriction site associated DNA sequencing to identify diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with alleles unique to each strain. We then used these strain-specific SNPs to develop four real-time PCR based TaqMan assays to rapidly and reliably differentiate between strains and interstrain hybrids. These assays provide a new tool for differentiating between strains in field-collected samples, facilitating future studies on strain population dynamics and interstrain hybridization rates. Understanding the basic ecology of S. frugiperda strains is necessary to inform future management strategies.

author list (cited authors)

  • Tessnow, A. E., Gilligan, T. M., Burkness, E., De Bortoli, C. P., Jurat-Fuentes, J. L., Porter, P., Sekula, D., & Sword, G. A.

complete list of authors

  • Tessnow, Ashley E||Gilligan, Todd M||Burkness, Eric||Placidi De Bortoli, Caroline||Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis||Porter, Patrick||Sekula, Danielle||Sword, Gregory A

publication date

  • January 1, 2021 11:11 AM


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