Genetic diversity within and among three wild-type natural populations and one melanic laboratory population of Mythimna separata (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) were evaluated using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis. Although extensive genetic diversity occurs among individuals from different geographic populations (P = 54.5%, h = 0.209, I = 0.305), the majority of the genetic diversity is within populations and not between populations (GST = 0.172), indicating high gene flow (NM = 2.403) and suggesting that M. separata in northern China are a part of a single large metapopulation. Genetic diversity in the natural populations was significantly higher than that in the melanic laboratory population (with P = 43.4% versus P = 25.9%, h = 0.173 versus h = 0.086, and I = 0.251 versus I = 0.127), suggesting that the melanic laboratory population is narrowly genetic-based and genetically uniform. Genetic similarities based on AFLP data were calculated, and cluster analysis was preformed to graphically display groupings between individuals and populations. Individuals from the same region were not grouped together in cluster analysis of three natural populations, whereas melanic individuals from laboratory population were grouped together very well. Four subpopulations were clustered into two broad groups. Melanic laboratory population became a single group, which had apparent differentiation from the other group in which three natural subpopulations were included. These results indicated that although high genetic variability existed among the individuals of natural populations, there was little genetic differentiation among three geographic populations that could be explained by the effects of the long distance migration of the oriental armyworm in China enhanced the level of gene flow. Influences of migration on the genetic polymorphism and differentiations that make a significant contribution to evolution in this insect are reviewed.
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Vol. 100 • No. 5