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Development of a SNP-based tool for the identification and discrimination of Melolontha melolontha and Melolontha hippocastani
- Journal Article
The European (Melolontha melolontha L.) and Forest (M. hippocastani F.) cockchafer are widespread pests throughout Central Europe. Both species exhibit a 3-5-year life cycle and occur in temporally shifted populations, which have been monitored and documented for more than 100 years. Visual identification of adults and larvae belonging to these morphologically similar species requires expertise and, particularly in the case of larvae, is challenging and equivocal. The goal of the study was the development of an efficient and fast molecular genetic tool for the identification and discrimination of M. melolontha and M. hippocastani. We established a collection of both species from Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy in 2016, 2017 and 2018. An approximately 1550 bp long fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) mitochondrial gene was amplified and sequenced in 13 M. melolontha and 13 M. hippocastani beetles. Alignment of the new sequences with reference sequences (NCBI GenBank and BOLDSYSTEMS databases) and subsequent phylogenetic analysis revealed consistent clustering of the two species. After the identification of M. melolontha and M. hippocastani species-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CO1 alignment, we developed an effective SNP tool based on the ABI PRISM (R) SNaPshot (TM) Multiplex Kit for the rapid and accurate species discrimination of adults and larvae. Show more
Journal / seriesBulletin of Entomological Research
Pages / Article No.
PublisherCAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS
SubjectCO1 gene; molecular markers; scarabs; SNaPshot multiplex kit; species identification
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