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DNA barcoding of gypsy moths from China (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) reveals new haplotypes and divergence patterns within gypsy moth subspecies

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Chen, Fang; Luo, Youqing; Keena, Melody A.; Wu, Ying; Wu, Peng; Shi, Juan

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Journal of Economic Entomology. 109(1): 366-374.


The gypsy moth from Asia (two subspecies) is considered a greater threat to North America than European gypsy moth, because of a broader host range and females being capable of flight. Variation within and among gypsy moths from China (nine locations), one of the native countries of Asian gypsy moth, were compared using DNA barcode sequences (658 bp of mtDNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 [COI] sequence), together with two restriction site mtDNA markers (NlaIII and BamHI in COI), which is the standard system used to distinguish European gypsy moths from Asian gypsy moths. Relatedness of these populations to gypsy moths from seven other world areas was also examined. The restriction site markers showed that two Chinese populations had both Asian and European haplotypes. DNA barcode sequence divergence between the Asian populations and the European populations was three times greater than the variation within each group. Using Bayesian and parsimonious network analyses, nine previously unknown barcode haplotypes were documented from China and a single haplotype was found to be shared by 55% of the Chinese and some Far Eastern Russian and Japanese individuals. Some gypsy moths from two Chinese populations showed genetic affinity with mtDNA haplotypes from Siberia, Russia, suggesting there could be a cryptic new subspecies in Lymantria dispar (L.) or human-aided movement of moths between these two locations at an earlier point in time. The previously unknown haplotype patterns may complicate efforts to identify Asian gypsy moth introductions and require changes in monitoring and exclusion programs.


gypsy moth; COI; NB system; DNA barcoding; haplotype


Chen, Fang; Luo, Youqing; Keena, Melody A.; Wu, Ying; Wu, Peng; Shi, Juan. 2015. DNA Barcoding of Gypsy Moths From China (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) Reveals New Haplotypes and Divergence Patterns Within Gypsy Moth Subspecies. Journal of Economic Entomology. 109(1): 366-374.

Last updated on: March 8, 2016