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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Southern Insect Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349961

Research Project: Innovative Strategies for Insect Resistance Management in Bt Cotton

Location: Southern Insect Management Research

Title: Mitochondrial DNA genome resources of five major Helicoverpa pest species from the Old and New Worlds (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

item WALSH, THOMAS - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item Perera, Omaththage
item ANDERSON, CRAIG - University Of Stirling
item GORDON, KARL - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item CZEPAK, CECILLIA - Federal University Of Goias
item MCGAUGHRAN, A - Australian National University
item ZWICK, ANDREAS - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item HACKET, D.S. - University College London
item TAY, W.T. - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Submitted to: Ecology and Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/19/2019
Publication Date: 2/14/2019
Citation: Walsh, T.K., Perera, O.P., Anderson, C.J., Gordon, K.H., Czepak, C., McGaughran, A., Zwick, A., Hacket, D., Tay, W. 2019. Mitochondrial DNA genome resources of five major Helicoverpa pest species from the Old and New Worlds (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Ecology and Evolution. 9(5):1-12.

Interpretive Summary: Mitochondrial genomes of organisms are widely used in a variety of studies and the availability of accurately characterized mitochondrial genomes in databases is critical. In this study, nucleotide sequences mitochondrial genomes noctuid moths available in public databases were compared with those of Helicoverpa assulta and H. gelotopoeon obtained by sequencing DNA extracted from taxonomically validated specimens. We identified one published and one unpublished mitochondrial genomes from the moth H. assulta in databases that were either misidentified or contaminated assemblies of other Helicoverpa species. This study not only increase the number of mitochondrial genomes available for genetic studies, but also make a case to correct the database entries that are incorrect.

Technical Abstract: Five species of noctuid moths, Helicoverpa armigera, H. punctigera, H. assulta, H. zea and H. gelotopoeon, are major agricultural pests inhabiting various and often overlapping global distributions. Visual identification of these species requires a great deal of expertise and misidentification can have repercussions for pest management and agricultural biosecurity. Here, we report on the complete mitochondrial genomes of H. assulta sub-species ‘assulta’ and ‘afra’, H. gelotopoeon, H. punctigera, H. zea, and H. armigera subspecies ‘armigera’ and ‘conferta’ assembled from high-throughput sequencing data. This study significantly increases the mitogenome resources for these five agricultural pests with sequences assembled from across different continents, including an H. armigera individual collected from Brazil where it has recently invaded. We infer the phylogenetic relationships of these five Helicoverpa species based on the 13 mitochondrial DNA protein coding genes (PCG’s), and show that two publicly available mitogenomes of H. assulta (KP015198 and KR149448) have been misidentified or incorrectly assembled. We further consolidate existing PCR-RFLP methods to cover all five Helicoverpa pest species, providing an up-dated method that will contribute to species differentiation and to future monitoring efforts of Helicoverpa pest species across different continents. We discuss the value of Helicoverpa mitogenomes to assist with species identification in view of the context of the rapid spread of H. armigera in the New World. With this work we provide the molecular resources necessary for future studies of the evolutionary history and ecology of these species.