Screening spruce for white pine weevil resistance

Genetic variation in canadian weevil populations

White pine weevil sample locations in Canada

White Pine Weevil: map showing sample locations in Canada


René Alfaro, Kornelia Lewis et Yousry El-Kassaby
René Alfaro, Kornelia Lewis et Yousry El-Kassaby

Breeding spruce for resistance required that we determine if this insect exhibited genetic variation across its range. If large variation was present, breeding programs may need to be developed for each target weevil population. Kornelia Lewis, Yousry El-Kassaby and René Alfaro, sampled 41 weevil populations across Canada to determine the level of genetic variation in this insect using allozyme markers. They concluded that this weevil is not all the same across the country, but that the species consists of four sub-populations. This study was also financed through FRBC project Molecular assessment of Spruce weevil populations grant No.HQ 96062-RE to Y. El Kassaby, K.O. Lewis and R. Alfaro

Genetic variation in Canadian weevil populations

Chart demonstrating genetic variation in Canadian Weevil populations

Genetic analysis of 41 weevil populations, using weevil protein electrophoresis, indicated that weevil populations in Canada could be grouped into four groups. Three of these groups occur only in British Columbia. East of the Rocky Mountains weevils grouped as a single population.

White pine genetic variation in Canadian weevil populations

Map showing White Pine Weevil population locations in British Columbia and Alberta

Populations of Pissodes strobi as determined by genetic analysis of protein electrophoresis. These results led to the recommendation that breeding programs for weevil resistant trees should consider the target weevil population.

Project status

  • On-going

Team members