Submitted to: Molecular Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2005
Citation: Greenstone, M.H., Rowley, D.L., Heimbach, U., Lundgren, J., Pfannenstiel, R., Rehner, S.A. 2005. Barcoding immature generalist predators by polymerase chain reaction: carabids and spiders. Molecular Ecology. 14:3247-3266
Interpretive Summary: Biological control, the management of pests by killing them with other organisms, is a major alternative to control with chemical pesticides. Spiders and predatory insects play a major role in biological control of insect pests. Understanding their role is hampered by our inability to identify immature forms of these predators, which often lack distinguishing anatomical characteristics. To solve this problem, we have developed DNA fingerprinting tools that match the immature predators to adults that have been positively identified. This report describes such tools for a variety of agriculturally important spider and ground beetle species. These techniques will be of immediate value to scientists, whose findings will then be used by extension personnel and consultants to advise growers on how to preserve and foster the most important predatory species. They will also assist taxonomists and conservation biologists, who need tools to identify and inventory animal species.
Technical Abstract: Identification of the immature stages of arthropod predators is often not possible, because distinguishing morphological features are lacking or difficult to use. We use PCR to match eggs, larvae (or nymphs), and pupae with identified adult carabids and spiders. Within the Carabidae, we amplified species-specific mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) fragments for three species each in the genera Poecilus and Harpalus, and two each in Chlaenius and Bembidion. Within the Araenae, we amplified COI fragments for two Hibana species (Anyphaenidae), Pardosa milvina and Rabidosa rabida (Lycosidae), Cheiracanthium inclusum (Clubionidae), and Frontinella pyramitela and Grammonota texana (Linyphiidae). We are able to correctly identify all immature stages tested ' eggs, larvae, and nymphs - by comparison of the amplified fragments with those of the adults. Using COI markers as species identifiers is a tenet of the Barcode of Life initiative, an international consortium to provide a molecular identifier for every animal species.