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Development of specific ITS markers for plant DNA identification within herbivorous insects
Pumariño Romero, Lorena; Alomar Kurz, Òscar; Agustí Abella, Núria
IRTA. Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries
DNA based techniques have proved to be very useful methods to study trophic relationships 17 between pests and their natural enemies. However, most predators are best defined as omnivores, 18 and the identification of plant-specific DNA should also allow the identification of the plant 19 species the predators have been feeding on. In this study, a PCR approach based on the 20 development of specific primers was developed as a self-marking technique to detect plant DNA 21 within the gut of one heteropteran omnivorous predator (Macrolophus pygmaeus) and two 22 lepidopteran pest species (Helicoverpa armigera and Tuta absoluta). Specific tomato primers 23 were designed from the ITS 1-2 region, which allowed the amplification of a tomato DNA 24 fragment of 332 bp within the three insect species tested in all cases (100% of detection at t = 0) 25 and did not detect DNA of other plants nor of the starved insects. Plant DNA half-lives at 25ºC 26 ranged from 5.8h, to 27.7h and 28.7h within M. pygmaeus, H. armigera and T. absoluta, 27 respectively. Tomato DNA detection within field collected M. pygmaeus suggests dietary mixing 28 in this omnivorous predator and showed a higher detection of tomato DNA in females and 29 nymphs than males. This study provides a useful tool to detect and to identify plant food sources 30 of arthropods and to evaluate crop colonization from surrounding vegetation in conservation 31 biological control programs.
Insectes -- Aliments
Marcadors moleculars
DNA -- Anàlisi
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25 p.
Cambridge University Press

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