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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #230807

Title: Molecular identification of the economically important invasive citrus root Weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

item Ascunce, Marina
item NIGG, HERBERT - University Of Florida
item CLARK, ANNMARIE - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/2008
Publication Date: 3/1/2009
Citation: Ascunce, M.S., Nigg, H.N., Clark, A. 2009. Molecular identification of the economically important invasive citrus root Weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Florida Entomologist. 92(1):167-172.

Interpretive Summary: Diaprepes abbreviatus L. is a polyphagous weevil whose larvae feed on roots causing damage that can kill the plant. Originally, from the Caribbean, this weevil was first found in the United States in Apopka (Florida) in 1964 and has since expanded its range in Florida infesting 23 counties. It is also found in Texas since 2000 and in southern California since 2005. Different control measurements, which are specific to a particular life stage of the weevil, are currently in use. However, when egg masses or larvae are found, the diagnosis of infestation is often delayed due to lack of reliable methods that allow one to identify non-adult stages. A scientist at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS, (Gainesville, Florida), and scientists at the University of Florida (Lake Alfred and Gainesville, Florida) developed a reliable and sensitive method for species identification of immature stages of D. abbreviatus using a DNA barcoding technique. This method provides accurate identification that can assist in management and quarantine decisions.

Technical Abstract: Accurate, fast identification of pests is critical to apply quarantine and control methods. Most procedures rely on morphology of adults for identification. Here we developed an accurate and sensitive barcoding technique based on the PCR-amplification and sequencing of the mitochondrial COI gene to use in identification of eggs, larvae and adults of the citrus root weevil, D. abbreviatus.