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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BITING AND STINGING PESTS: ECOLOGY AND BIOLOGICALLY-BASED CONTROL Title: Mitochondrial DNA genetic diversity of the drywood termites Incisitermes minor and I. snyderi

Authors
item Austin, James -
item Szalanski, Allen -
item Solorzano Torres, Cesar
item Magnus, Roxane -
item Scheffrahn, Rudolf -

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 8, 2011
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Citation: Austin, J.W., Szalanski, A.L., Solorzano Torres, C.D., Magnus, R., Scheffrahn, R.H. 2012. Mitochondrial DNA genetic diversity of the drywood termites Incisitermes minor and I. snyderi. Florida Entomologist. 95: 75-81.

Interpretive Summary: The two most widespread species of drywood termites (Kalotermitidae) in the United States are the southeastern drywood termite, Incistermes snyderi and the western drywood termite , I. minor. Both species are endemic to the southern Neartic region. Incisitermes snyderi is the only endemic drywood termite in the southeastern United States that commonly infests structures. Incisitermes minor is the most common structure-infesting drywood termite in the western United States. Introductions of I. minor from movement of infested wooden timbers and other wooden products have been documented in Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas, and Washington State. There is restricted information existing on Incisitermes species occupation outside its known range, since in most instances, it appears that infestations did not lead to successful colonization flights. Previous genetic studies of these two species are limited to a DNA study of I. minor from California and another study on I. minor from Japan. A total of 12 haplotypes were observed for I. minor and ten for I snyderi. For I. minor, one haplotype (IM1) was the most common and also had the widest distribution. With I. snyderi, haplotype IS4 was the most common (n=3) and 8 haplotypes were found once. This is the first study on genetic variation of the drywood termites I. minor and I. snyderi that has used individuals from different states within the U.S. There appears to be enough genetic variation for a molecular phylogeographic study which may provide insight into the evolution, dispersal and introduction history and establishment of these species.

Technical Abstract: The western drywood termite, Incisitermes minor (Hagen) and the light southern drywood termite I. snyderi (Light) are common drywood termites in southwestern and southern United States, respectively. Despite the economic importance of these two species, no information exists on the mitochondrial genetic diversity of I. minor and I. snyderi. A molecular genetics study involving DNA sequencing of a portion of the mitochondrial DNA 16S rRNA gene was undertaken to determine the extent of genetic variation in I. minor and I. snyderi. A total of 12 haplotypes were observed for I. minor collected from Florida, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Utah, and California. For I. snyderi, a total of 10 haplotypes were observed from the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Genetic variation among I. minor haplotypes ranged from 0.7 to 3.7% and variation for I. snyderi ranged from 0.7 to 2.4%. Maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood analysis revealed three distinct clades for I. snyderi, whereas, I. minor had two distinct clades. This is the first study on mitochondrial genetic variation of the drywood termites I. minor and I. snyderi. There appears to be enough genetic variation within these two species for a molecular phylogeographic study which may provide insight into dispersal and introductions of these species.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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