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The taxonomic status of the Chinese lac insects Kerria yunnanensis (Ou and Hong) (Hemiptera: Kerridae) and K. ruralis (Wang, Yao, Teiu and Liang) were analyzed in this paper by comparing morphological, cellular, and molecular data. Cladistic analysis showed K. yunnanensis and K. ruralis to be distinct from other Kerria species such as K. lacca and K. chinensis. The karyotype of K. yunnanensis was 3A and the chromosome structure was K = 6m 2sm 10T, while in K. ruralis the karyotype was 3B and the chromosome structure was K = 8m 10T. Kerria ruralis and K. yunnanensis had the closest relationship among species in the genus as they had the most similar karyotype homology. Based on the karyotype analysis, K. sindica and K. lacca formed a sister group with K. ruralis and K. yunnanensis. Kerria pusana and K. nepalensis were clustered as a sister branch, indicating the close relationship of these taxa. The karyotype of K. chinensis was however, different from the other six species and formed a separate branch. RAPD analysis also showed that K. yunnanensis and K. ruralis had distinct differences from other species of Kerria, although they did not form sister taxa. Molecular analysis based on the EF1α gene using ML, MP, and Mr. Bayes' methods indicated that seven species of lac insects cluster in two major groups. In group 1, K. sindica and K. lacca formed a sister clade and were primitive members of the genus. In group 2, K. chinensis formed the earliest diverging branch followed by K. ruralis. Kerria yunnanensis was the next to diverge followed by the cluster containing K. pusana and K. nepalensis. Hybridization testing showed that crosses neither between K. yunnanensis and K. sindica, nor between K. yunnanensis and K. lacca could produce first generation larvae. This was indicative that K. yunnanensis had a distant genetic relationship from the other species. Morphological, cellular, molecular, and hybridization results confirmed the independent status of the Chinese endemic species K. yunnanensis and K. ruralis. Kerria ruralis was genetically closely related to K. yunnanensis, but relatively far from K. lacca. The main commercial species in China was K. yunnanensis, while in Thailand it was K. chinensis. The commercial species in Myanmar included K. nepalensis and K. pusana, the latter being most widely used in lac production.
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