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DNA Barcoding as useful tool to identify crop pest flea beetles of Turkey

Coral Şahin, Didem, Magoga, Giulia, Özdikmen, Hüseyin, Montagna, Matteo
Journal of applied entomology 2019 v.143 no.1-2 pp. 105-117
Chaetocnema, DNA, DNA barcoding, Phyllotreta, biodiversity conservation, crop damage, crops, cryptic species, data collection, nucleotide sequences, plant pests, species identification, Middle East, Turkey (country)
Flea beetles (Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini), with ~8,000 species worldwide, include pest species causing substantial economic damage to crops. The genera Phyllotreta and Chaetocnema include both pest and non‐pest species. An accurate and fast taxonomic identification approach is required for discriminating among taxa for non‐expert taxonomists; moreover, the utility of this approach spans from biodiversity conservation to the monitoring of pest species. DNA barcoding represents a reliable and easy identification tool based on the use of short DNA sequences. In this study, 45 new COI sequences of 13 Phyllotreta and five Chaetocnema species, representing ~30% and ~20% of the Turkish species belonging to these genera, were provided. These sequences increased by ~18% and ~25% the number of species of these genera whose sequences are available in BOLD. In order to test DNA barcoding efficiency in Phyllotreta and Chaetocnema species identification, we created a data set consisting of sequences belonging to species present in the Middle East and available in BOLD plus the sequences developed in this study (36 species). The efficiency of species identification, estimated using best close match analysis (with the ad hoc calculated optimal distance threshold of 1.5%), was 99%. The overall intraspecific and interspecific mean nucleotide divergences were 1.4% and 20%, respectively. Interestingly, COI sequences of Phyllotreta nigripes clustered into two well‐separated groups with a high value of the between‐group nucleotide distance (11.4%), which suggests the presence of cryptic species. In addition, information was provided on the crops exploited by the collected organisms and the observed damage.