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Inaccurate species identification confounds insect ecological studies. Examining aspects of Trichogramma ecology pertinent to the novel insect resistance management strategy for future transgenic cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., production in the Ord River Irrigation Area
(ORIA) of Western Australia required accurate differentiation between morphologically similar Trichogramma species. Established molecular diagnostic methods for Trichogramma identification use species-specific sequence difference in the internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-2 chromosomal
region; yet, difficulties arise discerning polymerase chain reaction (PCR) fragments of similar base pair length by gel electrophoresis. This necessitates the restriction enzyme digestion of PCR-amplified ITS-2 fragments to readily differentiate Trichogramma australicum Girault and
Trichogramma pretiosum Riley. To overcome the time and expense associated with a two-step diagnostic procedure, we developed a “one-step” multiplex PCR technique using species-specific primers designed to the ITS-2 region. This approach allowed for a high-throughput analysis
of samples as part of ongoing ecological studies examining Trichogramma biological control potential in the ORIA where these two species occur in sympatry.
Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.