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Esterase-3 polymorphism in the sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae)

Author(s): Ruvolo-Takasusuki Maria Claudia C. | Machado Maria de Fátima P.S. | Conte Hélio

Journal: Genetics and Molecular Biology
ISSN 1415-4757

Volume: 25;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 61;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: esterase | genetic variability | isozymes | moth | sugarcane borer

The migration rate of esterases and their substrate specificity for 4-methylumbelliferyl esters (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) and alpha- and beta-naphthyl esters were analyzed in Diatraea saccharalis by starch gel electrophoresis. Substrate preference of esterases was observed with Est-2 and Est-8 isozymes showing substrate specificity for 4-methylumbelliferyl esters and Est-4 isozyme showing specificity for 4-methylumbelliferyl butyrate and alpha-naphthyl butyrate. Allele variation was detected at the Est-3 locus. Two alleles, Est-3F and Est-3S, were identified in pupae with fluorogenic and ester-naphthyl substrates. Chi-square analysis showed no differences between the observed genotypic frequencies and those expected on the basis of Hardy-Weinberg frequencies for the Est-3 locus (chi² = 2.4; p < 0.01). The negative value for the Wright's fixation index (F = -0.2096) calculated for the D. saccharalis population maintained under laboratory conditions indicates an excess of heterozygotes, however, the observed Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium indicates that in the laboratory the population of D. saccharalis behaved as if the moth were randomly mating in nature. The high level of heterozygosity at the Est-3 locus indicates also that this esterase may be a good genetic marker for studies of natural D. saccharalis populations.