Journal article

Molecular markers to discriminate among four pest species of Helicoverpa (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

GT Behere, WT Tay, DA Russell, P Batterham



The four significant pest species in the Helicoverpa genus (H. armigera, H. assulta, H. punctigera and H. zea) are morphologically similar and can only be reliably distinguished through dissection of adult genitalia. Two partial regions of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and the cytochrome b (Cyt b) genes were amplified by PCR and digested with restriction endonucleases. The restriction patterns, generated by the endonucleases BstZ17I and HphI, demonstrated reliable differentiation of the four Helicoverpa pest species. This technique is fast, reliable and effective at distinguishing specimens irrespective of their life stages and offers support to conven..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all the people who kindly provided samples used in this study, particularly Keshav Kranthi (India), Sandhya Kranthi (India), David Heckel (Germany), A. Regupathy (India), Mushtaq Ahmed (Pakistan), Yidong Wu (China), Philippe Menozzi (Burkina Faso), Peter Ridland (Australia), Nancy Endersby (Australia), Stephen Cameron (USA), Dan Gilrein (USA) and Pierre Slivie (Brazil). H. armigera egg samples were kindly provided by Adam Williams (The University of Melbourne). Mark Blacket (The University of Melbourne) assisted with polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. This project was supported by grants from the Melbourne International Research Scholarship (MIRS) and Melbourne International Fee remission Scholarship (MIFRS) to GTB. WTT was supported by grants from the State Government of Victoria and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. This work was also supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through its funding to the Special Research Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research (CESAR).