The soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura) is an invasive pest of cultivated soybean (Glycine max L.) in North America. After the initial invasion in 2000, the aphid has quickly spread across most of the United States and Canada, suggesting large-scale dispersal and rapid adaptation to new environments. Using microsatellite markers from closely related species, we compared the genetic diversity and the amount of genetic differentiation within and among 2 South Korean and 10 North American populations. Overall allelic polymorphism was low, never exceeding four alleles per locus. However, differences in genetic diversity were seen among South Korean and North American populations in terms of heterozygote excesses and genotypic richness. Within North America, two populations (Michigan and Ontario), had lower genetic diversities and exhibited high genetic differentiation compared with the remaining eight populations. The earlier collection time of Michigan and Ontario samples explained the genetic differences better than geographic subdivisions. These data indicate a pattern of small colonizing populations on soybeans, followed by rapid clonal amplification and subsequent large-scale dispersal across North America.
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