Original Article

Allozyme polymorphism in the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): comparison of African and European populations

  • Heredity volume 80, pages 438445 (1998)
  • doi:10.1046/j.1365-2540.1998.00273.x
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Genetic variability of 22 populations of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) was studied by comparison of allozyme frequencies at 15 loci. Seven loci were polymorphic at the 99% level. Populations originated from the south of France, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. Few significant deviations from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium occurred, except for the Acp locus. Overall comparison of allele frequencies revealed significant differences for four loci, although the value of θ was low (0.007). At a lower geographical scale, two situations were observed. Populations from France and Portugal showed significant differences when comparing allele frequencies, although θ was low (0.0099). On the other hand, in northern and western Africa, no significant difference exists even when comparing populations located on either side of the Sahara desert. Results are discussed in relation to the migratory abilities of the species.

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This work was a collaboration between the Institut d'Études et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA, Burkina Faso), the Montfavet Zoology Station of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, France) and the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD, France). Funding for this research was provided by INERA, INRA and CIRAD. We thank M. E. Hochberg for critical reading of the manuscript. Thanks are also due to Mrs Carola Meierrose (Evora University, Portugal), L. El Jadd (INRA, Afourer, Morocco), B. Chermiti (ESH, Sousse, Tunisia), T. Alaux and J. M. Vassal (IDESSA, CIRAD, Ivory Coast) for providing the insects. We also thank Mrs L. Boudinhon for her participation in electrophoresis.

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Author notes

    • Samuel Nibouche

    Permanent address: CIRAD, BP 5035, 34032 Montpellier cedex 1, France.


  1. Institut d'Études et de Recherches Agricoles, BP 7192, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, France

    • Samuel Nibouche
  2. INRA, Unité de Zoologie, Domaine Saint Paul, Site Agroparc, 84194 Avignon cedex 9, France

    • Robert Buès
    • , Jean-François Toubon
    •  & Serge Poitout


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Correspondence to Samuel Nibouche.