Canadian Forest Service Publications

Microsatellite population genetics of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire): comparisons between Asian and North American populations. 2012. Keever, C.C.; Nieman, C.; Ramsay, L.; Ritland, C. E.; Bauer, L.S.; Lyons, D.B.; Cory, J.S. Biological Invasions 15:1537-1559.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34289

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1007/s10530-012-0389-4

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Mark record


The emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera; Buprestidae), is an invasive wood-boring beetle native to northeast Asia. This species was first detected in Michigan USA in 2002, and is a significant threat to native and ornamental ash tree species (Fraxinus spp.) throughout North America. We characterized seven polymorphic microsatellite markers for EAB and used these to investigate EAB population structure in the early invasive populations within North America and in comparison with Asia. We found 2–9 alleles per microsatellite locus, no evidence of linkage disequilibrium, and no association with known coding sequences, suggesting that these markers are suitable for population genetic analysis. Microsatellite population genetic structure was examined in 48 EAB populations sampled between 2003 and 2008 from five regions, three in the introduced range, Michigan (US) and Ontario and Quebec (Canada) and two Asian regions, China and South Korea, where EAB is native. We found significant genetic variation geographically but not temporally in EAB populations. Bayesian clustering analyses of individual microsatellite genotypes showed strong clustering among multiple North American populations and populations in both China and South Korea. Finally, allelic richness and expected heterozygosity were higher in the native range of EAB, but there was no difference in observed heterozygosity, suggesting a significant loss of alleles upon introduction but no significant change in the distribution of alleles within and among individuals.

Plain Language Summary

A greater knowledge of the population genetics of emerald ash borer (EAB) can help us understand its pathways of invasion and lead to better control strategies. Between 2003 and 2008, we sampled 48 EAB populations from five regions: three introduced regions (Michigan, Ontario and Quebec) and two native regions (China and South Korea). We identified seven genetic markers suitable for population genetic analysis. We used these to compare EAB population structures in North America and Asia. We found significant genetic variation between regions but not between sample years. Results suggest that North American populations may have gone through a genetic bottleneck upon introduction. Also, individuals from different regions of North America (Ontario versus Quebec) may be associated with different regions within the native range of EAB. The markers can be used to track future invasion pathways and monitor changes in genetic variation in the new range.