Wasps of the genus Nasonia are important biological control agents of house flies and related filth flies, which are major vectors of human pathogens. Species of Nasonia (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) are not easily differentiated from one another by morphological characters, and molecular markers for their reliable identification have been missing so far. Here, we report eight single-nucleotide polymorphism and three sequence-tagged site markers derived from expressed sequenced tag libraries for the two closely related and regionally sympatric species N. giraulti and N. vitripennis. We studied variation of these markers in natural populations of the two species, and we mapped them in the Nasonia genome. The markers are species-diagnostic and evenly spread over all five chromosomes. They are ideal for rapid species identification and hybrid recognition, and they can be used to map economically relevant quantitative trait loci in the Nasonia genome.
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Vol. 100 • No. 4