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Molecular identification of Epitrix potato flea beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Europe and North America

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2013

Jean-François Germain
Affiliation:
ANSES – Laboratoire de la Santé des Végétaux, unité entomologie et plantes invasives, CBGP, Campus international de Baillarguet, CS 30016, 34988 Montferrier-sur Lez, France
Catherine Chatot
Affiliation:
GERMICOPA R&D, Kerguivarc'h, 29520 Chateauneuf du Faou, France
Isabelle Meusnier
Affiliation:
INRA, UMR1062 CBGP, F-34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France
Emmanuelle Artige
Affiliation:
INRA, UMR1062 CBGP, F-34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France
Jean-Yves Rasplus
Affiliation:
INRA, UMR1062 CBGP, F-34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France
Astrid Cruaud*
Affiliation:
INRA, UMR1062 CBGP, F-34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France
*
* Author for correspondence Phone: +(33).4.99.62.33.25 Fax: + (33).4.99.62.33.45 E-mail: cruaud@supagro.inra.fr

Abstract

Epitrix species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feed mostly on plants from the family Solanaceae and some of them are major pests of potato crops. All Epitrix species are morphologically highly similar, which makes them difficult to identify and limits their study and management. Identification of species is mostly based on the observation of the genitalia and requires a high level of expertise. Here, we propose a tool to reliably identify all developmental stages of the most economically important Epitrix species feeding on potato in Europe and North America (Epitrix cucumeris, Epitrix similaris, Epitrix tuberis, Epitrix subcrinita and Epitrix hirtipennis). We first sequenced two DNA markers (mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2)) to test their effectiveness in differentiating among six Epitrix species (126 specimens). Morphospecies of Epitrix were well-differentiated by both DNA barcodes and no mitochondrial introgression was detected. Then, we developed an RFLP-based diagnostic method and showed that unambiguous species discrimination can be achieved by using the sole restriction enzyme TaqI on COI polymerase chain reaction products. The tool proposed here should improve our knowledge about Epitrix species biology, distribution and host range, three capacities that are particularly important in the detection and management of these pest species. Specifically, this tool should help prevent the introduction of E. tuberis and E. subcrinita in Europe and limit the spread of the recently introduced E. cucumeris and E. similaris, with minimal disruption to Solanaceae trade.

Type
Research Paper
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

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Molecular identification of Epitrix potato flea beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Europe and North America
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