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ARS Home » Crop Production and Protection » Research » Research Project #425417

Research Project: Biological Control of the Harrisia Cactus Mealybug(HCM), Hypogeococcus pungens (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Puerto Rico

Location: Crop Production and Protection

Project Number: 0206-22000-008-02-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2016

Part I: Genetic Analyses 1. Identification of the host race/s of HCM in Puerto Rico through genetic analyses; 2. Identification of the host race/s of HCM in Argentina through genetic analyses; 3. Matching between morphology and molecular biology of HCM. Part II: Subsequent work on HCM in FY13 1. Continue the survey and collection of HCM and parasitoids; 2. Identification and description of new species of parasitoids of HCM (Note: the work to accomplish objectives 1 and 2 is in progress); 3. Selection of most appropriated species to be exported to Puerto Rico; 4. Export of parasitoids to Puerto Rico (Note: the results of the Genetic Analyses will be essential to accomplish objectives 3 and 4).

Part I: Genetic Analyses - Molecular markers: The degree of genetic differentation among populations and samples collected on different hosts will be investigated using DNA sequences of the COI mitochondrial gene and allele variation at several microsatellite loci. - General Methods: Total DNA will be extracted from adult specimens. A fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene will be PCR amplified and sequenced. Microsatellite loci will be amplified using standard PCR protocols and genotyped. Part II: Work on HCM - Field collections of HCM specimens will be conducted to continue molecular studies. - Laboratory rearing of HCM parasitoids will continue.