Multiple Transatlantic Introductions of the Western Corn Rootworm

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Science  11 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5750, pp. 992
DOI: 10.1126/science.1115871

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The invasion of Europe by the western corn rootworm, North America's most destructive corn pest, is ongoing and represents a serious threat to European agriculture. Because this pest was initially introduced in Central Europe, it was believed that subsequent outbreaks in Western Europe originated from this area. Using model-based Bayesian analyses of the genetic variability of the western corn rootworm, we demonstrate that this belief is false: There have been at least three independent introductions from North America during the past two decades. This result raises questions about changing circumstances that have enabled a sudden burst of transatlantic introductions.

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