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    The Japanese pine sawyer, Monochamus alternatus Hope (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), is an important forest pest as well as the principal vector of the pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner et Buhrer), in mainland China. Despite the economic importance of this insect-disease complex, only a few studies are available on the population genetic structure of M. alternatus and the relationship between its historic dispersal pattern and various human activities. The aim of the present study was to further explore aspects of human activity on the population genetic structure of M. alternatus in mainland China. The molecular data based on the combined mitochondrial cox1 and cox2 gene fragments from 140 individuals representing 14 Chinese populations yielded 54 haplotypes. Overall, a historical (natural) expansion that originated from China's eastern coast to the western interior was revealed by the haplotype network, as well as several recent, long-distant population exchanges. Correlation analysis suggested that regional economic status and proximity to marine ports significantly influenced the population genetic structure of M. alternatus as indicated by both the ratio of shared haplotypes and the haplotype diversity, however, the PWN distribution in China was significantly correlated with only the ratio of shared haplotypes. Our results suggested that the modern logistical network (i.e., the transportation system) in China is a key medium by which humans have brought about population exchange of M. alternatus in mainland China, likely through inadvertent movement of infested wood packaging material associated with trade, and that this genetic exchange was primarily from the economically well-developed east coast of China, westward, to the less-developed interior. In addition, this study demonstrated the existence of non-local M. alternatus in new PWN-infested localities in China, but not all sites with non-local M. alternatus were infested with PWN.

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    Hu, Shao-ji; Ning, Tiao; Fu, Da-ying; Haack, Robert A.; Zhang, Zhen; Chen, De-dao; Ma, Xue-yu; Ye, Hui. 2013. Dispersal of the Japanese Pine Sawyer, Monochamus alternatus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), in Mainland China as Inferred from Molecular Data and Associations to Indices of Human Activity. PLoS ONE. 8(2): e57568-.


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