Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/24/2012
Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Citation: Hansen, J., Klingeman, W., Moulton, J., Oliver, J., Windham, M., Zhang, A., Trigiano, R.2012. Molecular phylogeny of Synanthedonini (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) using cytochrome oxidase I with comparison of morphological variation among some members justifying their generic reclassification. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 42(3):558-563. Interpretive Summary: The dogwood borer is a clearwing moth insect pest that feeds on commercially grown fruit trees and ornamental plants. It causes trunk or branch damage that reduces fruit yield and kills plant hosts. Usually, the identification of different clearwing moth species relies on skills of a taxonomic professional. In the past 150 years, many highly similar clearwing moth species have invaded North American; therefore, reliable and accurate diagnostic tools are needed to aid with identification of these pests. In this study, we used molecular genetics as a diagnostic tool to identify different clearwing moth pest species. More than 20 different clearwing moth pest samples from 20 geographic locations across the U.S. and Canada were collected in sex attractant traps and unique identifying genetic signatures within their genetic regions was demonstrated. This accurate molecular diagnostic tool will be utilized as a lab diagnostic tool to assist pest management professionals working in urban landscapes, nurseries, and orchards to monitor clearwing moth pests at different potential infestation sites, and government regulatory officials to monitor entry points into the United States.
Technical Abstract: Many North American sesiid moths within the tribe Synanthodonini, have been studied extensively due to detrimental economic impacts on forest, deciduous shade and fruit trees as well as many other ornamental and native shrub species. Introduction of non-native clearwing moths (e.g., the red-belted clearwing moth, Synanthedon myopaeformis (Borkh.), a European pest of apple trees) reinforce a need for reliable and accurate molecular diagnostic tools that can be utilized by non-taxonomic experts. Short DNA sequences can be used to advance knowledge of sesiid species divergence, leading to enhanced understanding of their unique evolutionary history. The cytochrome oxidase I (cox I) phylogeny produced from the sequences of 19 Synanthedonini species tested suggests a close evolutionary relationship of sesiids that rely on similar host plants to complete their life cycle. Sannina uroceriformis Walker is positioned firmly with Synanthedon despite its obvious genitalic similarities with Carmenta. Podosesia spp. is also somewhat surprisingly positioned within the Synanthedon rich clade. Our analysis also suggests the current generic placement of S. rileyana (Hy. Edwards) may be erroneous. The evolutionary relationship of the two North American viburnum borers (S. viburni Engelhardt and S. fatifera Hodges) is briefly discussed. Precise placement of S. rileyana, Sannina, and Podosesia awaits further evaluation of additional taxa as well as results from analysis of another preferably nuclear gene. Nevertheless, no polyphyletic relationships exist among economically important species making cox I sequences species specific and useful as identifying genetic markers in the tribe.