An integrative approach to fall armyworm population genomics
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The fall armyworm,Spodoptera frugiperda,has recently become a global invasive agricultural pest. Despite increased attention abroad, recent evidence indicates that our understanding of this pest's genetics, population biology and movement in its native range, namely the US, is severely lacking.This project will use population genomics, stable isotopes and behavioral assays to characterize the relationships between fall armyworm population structure, mating behavior, and dispersal patterns across the US. Based on strong preliminary data, our objectives are to:(1)Understand fall armyworm genetic structure across the entire US using population genomics. Specifically, we will(a)assess spatial and temporal population structure ofS. frugiperdaacross the US, and(b)identify diagnostic SNP markers to rapidly differentiate populations and their hybrids;(2)Test for evidence of north-to-south return migration in the US using stable isotope signatures; and(3)Assess the effect of photoperiod on the propensity for interstrain hybridization.