Population genetic structure within and among aggregations of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius)

Monday, December 13, 2010: 11:32 AM
Hampton (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Virna L. Saenz , Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Warren Booth , Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Coby Schal , Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Edward L. Vargo , Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Despite the bed bugs global recognition as one of the 21st century’s most significant re-emerging insect pest, little is known regarding its population genetic structure and dispersal dynamics within the urban environment. In light of the recent reports of widespread resistance to the commonly applied pyrethroid insecticides, the elucidation of genetic structure, diversity, and dispersal is essential before effective strategies for the management and control of this pest. Here, we present the preliminary results of a novel hierarchical analysis of bed bug population genetic structure, with specific focus on the genetic effects of both active (within-building) and passive (human-mediated) movement. Through the application of polymorphic species-specific molecular markers, we address five key questions regarding bed bug diversity and dispersal: 1) what does within-aggregation genetic diversity tell us about infestation dynamics?; 2) within multi-unit apartment buildings, are infestations founded by single, or multiple introduction events?; 3) once established within buildings, do bed bug infestations follow a predictable dispersal pathways [i.e. infestation of apartments vertically and horizontally adjacent to the primary site of infestation]?; 4) within cities, are infestations more genetically similar to each other than to those from alternate cities?; and 5) do major interstate highways represent corridors for the dispersal of infestations. Samples were collected from ten states along the eastern United States and ten individuals from each collection genotyped for between 10 and 15 microsatellite loci. Results will be discussed