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1 May 2000 Determining Parasitoid Species Composition in a Host Population: A Molecular Approach
Kelley J. Tilmon, Bryan N. Danforth, William H. Day, Michael P. Hoffmann
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Abstract

Larvae of closely related parasitoid taxa often lack morphological differences that can be used for species level identification. Determining the parasitoid species present in a host population may require rearing, often a time-consuming process. To monitor field parasitism rates by several species of Peristenus wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) that are natural enemies of Lygus (Heteroptera: Miridae), we have developed a two-step molecular approach. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the COI gene with wasp-targeting primers is performed on DNA extracted from a Lygus nymph and the parasitoid larva (if any) therein. A positive reaction indicates parasitoid presence. A restriction digest of the PCR product then indicates which parasitoid species is present among known alternatives, and a diagnosis is achieved in days rather than weeks or months.

Kelley J. Tilmon, Bryan N. Danforth, William H. Day, and Michael P. Hoffmann "Determining Parasitoid Species Composition in a Host Population: A Molecular Approach," Annals of the Entomological Society of America 93(3), 640-647, (1 May 2000). https://doi.org/10.1603/0013-8746(2000)093[0640:DPSCIA]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 19 October 1999; Published: 1 May 2000
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