Ten years of experimentation on Myzus persicae: what we know, what we have to learn! John T. Margaritopoulos
University of Thessaly, Greece
The green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, is an ideal model for studying various evolutionary questions. Three traits of its way of life have much attracted the attention of various applied biologists all around the world. These are: the different life categories that the aphid exhibits depending on the winter severity and the abundance of its primary host the peach, the ability to develop resistance in different chemical classes of insecticides and the existence of certain host-associated forms. During the last twenty years much research has been performed on the tobacco adapted form of M. persicae, to which recently the subspecies status has been devoted (Myzus persicae nicotianae Blackam). The present presentation provides information on life cycle variation that the species exhibits in Greece and results from behavioural (preference tests and Electrical Penetration Graph technique) and molecular studies (microsattelite DNA genotypic and multivariate morphometric analyses) which have been conducted to elucidate various aspects of the adaptation of the species to tobacco. Lastly, a theory about the origin of the tobacco-adapted subspecies is discussed.