The sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.), is the main pest of sugarcane in Brazil. Genetic variability and gene flow among 13 Brazilian populations of the species were evaluated based on mitochondrial DNA sequences to estimate the exchange of genetic information within and among populations. We found high genetic structure among sampled localities (ΦST = 0.50923), and pairwise genetic distances were significantly correlated to geographic distances. Demographic analysis and genealogical network of mitochondrial sequences indicate population growth and admixture of D. saccharalis populations, events likely related to the sequential expansion of the corn and sugarcane crops in Brazil. The implications of these findings for pest management are discussed.
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