Main content area

Genetic study of Mediterranean and South American populations of tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta (Povolny, 1994) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) using ribosomal and mitochondrial markers

Cifuentes, Dina, Chynoweth, Robert, Bielza, Pablo
Pest management science 2011 v.67 no.9 pp. 1155-1162
Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, Tuta absoluta, basins, crops, cytochrome-c oxidase, genes, genetic variation, internal transcribed spacers, mitochondrial DNA, nuclear genome, pests, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal DNA, sequence analysis, tomatoes, Europe, South America
BACKGROUND: Before its introduction into Europe at the end of 2006, Tuta absoluta (Povolny, 1994) was confined solely to South America. Currently, this invasive pest is well established in various European and Mediterranean countries, causing important economic losses to tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) crops. In order to study the genetic variability of this pest, 23 Mediterranean and ten native South American populations were analysed with nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers. RESULTS: The internal transcribed spacers 1 (ITS1) and 2 (ITS2) of rDNA and a fragment in the mtDNA gene encoding cytochrome oxidase I (COI) were PCR amplified and sequenced in T. absoluta. Sequence analyses consistently revealed neither intrapopulation nor interpopulation variation in either genomic region. CONCLUSIONS: High genetic homogeneity was detected in T. absoluta populations from the Mediterranean Basin and South America, based on mtCOI and ITS rDNA sequence analysis. A single genetic type was identified in this pest.