Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331381

Research Project: Biological Control of Invasive Weeds from Eurasia and Africa

Location: Location not imported yet.

Title: Development and characterization of 11 microsatellite markers in the root-gall-forming weevil, Ceutorhynchus assimilis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

item Lesieur, Vincent
item Jeanneau, Melanie
item Martin, Jean-francois
item Bon, Marie-claude

Submitted to: Applied Entomology and Zoology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/25/2016
Publication Date: 7/1/2016
Citation: Lesieur, V., Jeanneau, M., Martin, J., Bon, M. 2016. Development and characterization of 11 microsatellite markers in the root-gall-forming weevil, Ceutorhynchus assimilis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology. DOI: 10.1007/s13355-016-0414-7.

Interpretive Summary: The heart-podded Hoary cress (Lepidium draba) of Eurasian origin invades rangelands, pastures, streambanks, and open forests primarily in the western United States, although it does occur in the East. It can form large infestations that can displace native species and reduce grazing quality. The weed belongs to the same family (Brassicaceae, the mustard family) as the domesticated crops such as canola. A classical biological control program is being conducted to discover and test host-specific biocontrol agents. An Eurasian weevil (Ceutorhynchus assimilis) was found to develop specifically on the target and thereby is being considered as a potential biocontrol agent against the weed. However the weevil has some populations (biotypes) which are specific to the weed and some which are not, although they all look morphologically similar. Molecular genetics can be used to differentiate such populations. In the present study, we developed the most efficient genetic tools, named microsatellites, to characterize each biotype. This enables us to unabiguously identify each insect which is necessary to avoid using the wrong biotype for biological control.

Technical Abstract: The host race of Ceutorhynchus assimilis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) that specifically develops on Lepidium draba (Brassicales: Brassicaceae), an invasive weed in North America, is being considered for use as a biocontrol agent. Because there are other races that attack other plants, it is important to determine if these populations are genetically isolated. Otherwise the host race of interest may evolve to attack nontarget plant species. Molecular genetic analysis will help to resolve its taxonomic status, which is critical to determine if this agent is safe to use in a biocontrol program. We built multiplex microsatellite enriched libraries, and we used a next generation sequencing approach to screen a total of 20,987 reads spanning the genome. Using stringent criteria we identified 31 useful microsatellite loci, among which 11 were polymorphic in this species. These eleven microsatellite markers are the most informative markers available for fine- and large-scale population-genetic studies to date.