The hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), is a major introduced pest of eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière. Hemlock woolly adelgid in the United States is anholocyclic and an obligate parthenogen, because no suitable primary host (on which sexual reproduction occurs in Asia) is reported for this adelgid in the United States. Allozyme analyses were conducted to assess the relatedness between three hemlock woolly adelgid populations in the eastern United States (Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia) and to compare them with adelgids from the western United States (Washington) and China. Significant hemlock woolly adelgid allozyme variation was found between nonadjacent trees within a site in the eastern United States. There was a small difference between the two northern and the southern populations despite the relative genetic uniformity between the sites across the allozyme loci evaluated. There were low numbers of protein alleles in the eastern populations, whereas the western and Chinese populations had additional alleles not found in the eastern populations. Both heterozygote excesses and deficits were detected as would be expected in populations that are not randomly mating. There were only a few abundant genotypes and they tended to be more homozygous than the rarer genotypes. The hemlock woolly adelgid population from China that is cyclically parthenogenic was more genetically diverse than the other hemlock woolly adelgid populations that are presumed to be obligately parthenogenic. Allozymes provide some useful information about genetic variation in hemlock woolly adelgid but seem to be less suited to assess actual genetic diversity and structure of populations because of the small size of the hemlock woolly adelgid.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3