Date of this Version
Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), the fall armyworm is the most economically important maize pest in the western hemisphere. This research focused on the genetic variability of the maize host strain because there is a lack of information in this area of S. frugiperda research. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) was used to assess the genetic variability of S. frugiperda over a large geographic area. Twenty populations were collected from the maize, one population was collected from princess tree, one population was collected from lemon tree, and one population was collected from bermudagrass. The 23 populations were from Mexico, the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina. The objective of this research was to evaluate whether the majority of genetic variability was within populations or between populations. The AFLP results showed that the majority of the genetic variability is within populations and not between populations, indicating minor gene flow and suggesting that S. frugiperda in the Western Hemisphere are an interbreeding population.