Genetic Structure of Pseudococcus microcirculus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) Populations on Epiphytic Orchids of South Florida

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Genetics




In 2012, the orchid mealy bug Pseudococcus microcirculus was first detected in situ in North America's more diverse orchid region, the Big Cypress Basin (Collier Co FL). A follow-up survey showed that the mealy bug is more widespread and found on epiphytic orchids in two locations, in both the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve (sites B and F) and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge (sites M and C). There, we collected mealy bugs (n = 54) from 35 orchid individuals and screened allelic variation at seven microsatellite loci. We estimated genetic diversity and differentiation among all sites and compared the variation among individuals collected on the same plant. Genetic differentiation between sites M and C (FST = 0.03, P < 0.01) and,Mand B (FST = 0.04, P < 0.01) was detected.We also detected significantly lower mean pairwise relatedness among individuals from site B compared to all the other locations, and this population had the lowest inbreeding coefficient. Genetic diversity and mean pairwise relatedness were highly variable among plants with multiple individuals; however, plants from sites F and M tend to have collections of individuals with higher mean pairwise relatedness compared to sites B and C. Our results indicate that there is genetic diversity and differentiation among mealy bugs in these locations, and that collections of individuals on the same plant are genetically diverse. As such, the mealy bugs throughout these areas are likely to be genetically diverse and exist in multiple distinct populations.


Copyright belongs to Elsevier. Information regarding the dissemination and usage of journal articles can be accessed through the following links.