The goal of this work was to analyze the molecular structure and diversity of four Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) populations associated to the corn and rice crops in Rio Grande do Sul State. Four populations of caterpillars were collected from distinct areas (more than 300 km apart), from the counties of Santa Rosa (corn) and Uruguaiana (irrigated rice), and in adjacent areas in Pelotas county (corn and irrigated rice). The analysis of 40 caterpillars (10 from each population), with five combinations of primers generated a total of 241 loci, among then 229 (95%) were polymorphic. The dendrogram generated by the clustering method UPGMA, based on the Dice similarity matrix, showed overlappings among the studied populations. The diversity indexes evidenced that 88% of the genetic diversity was observed within populations and 12% between S. frugiperda populations. The dendrogram generated by clustering UPGMA method, based on the dissimilarity matrix from the euclydean distances, evidenced the existence of a differentiation among populations according to the host plant, being the loci 42 and 47 (M-CTG/E-ACC) capable of detecting 100% of the genetic differences. These results showed that the genetic variation of S. frugiperda populations is associated to host plants, confirming the presence of the "corn" and "rice" biotypes of S. frugiperda in Rio Grande do Sul State.
Insecta; fall armyworm; AFLP; biotype