Phylogenetic Analysis of an Economically Important Species Complex of Wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in the Midwest

Authors: Lindroth, E.; Clark, Thomas L.

Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 102, Number 2, April 2009 , pp. 743-749(7)

Publisher: Entomological Society of America

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Wireworms are a common soil-dwelling pest of maize, Zea mays L., in the midwestern United States. Wireworms are a problematic group to control and study due to the difficulty involved in identification. The objectives of this study are to identify this species complex of wireworms by using molecular diagnostic techniques and to reconstruct a phylogeny of economically important wireworm species. The cytochrome oxidase I gene of mitochondrial DNA was sequenced from >300 individuals. The species analyzed include all economically important members of the genus Melanotus Eschscholtz as well as Conoderus lividus (De Geer). The species that are indistinguishable in the larval stage were successfully separated using nucleotide p-distances, and sequence data were then used in phylogenetic analyses. The data presented here represent an initial phylogenetic hypothesis concerning economically important wireworms. Our results indicate that the molecular phylogeny of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene provides a fast and accurate method of separating wireworm species. By increasing the ease and accuracy of identification, we hope to facilitate further investigations into their biology and control.

Keywords: Elateridae; phylogenetics; secondary pest; wireworm

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • 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.
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