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Identification of plant tissues from the gut of Phlebotomus papatasi by DNA analysis
- Junnila, Amy, Müller, Gunter C., Schlein, Yosef
- Acta tropica 2011 v.117 no.1 pp. 14-18
- DNA, Phlebotomus papatasi, Suaeda, cellulose, digestive system, dry season, females, insects, males, plant identification, plant tissues, sugars, Israel, Jordan
- Sugar and cellulose assays can determine if an insect has fed on sugar and plant tissue but they cannot identify the species of source plant. In this study, we used DNA analysis together with traditional cellulose and sugar assays to examine the plant feeding habits of wild Phlebotomus papatasi during the dry season in the Lower Jordan Valley, Israel. About 37% of the sand flies were positive for sugar, 45% were positive for cellulose in the gut, and 41% contained amplifiable plant DNA. All of the plant DNA fragments sequenced from both males and females were identified as Suaeda asphaltica.