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The invasive coconut mite Aceria guerreronis (Acari: Eriophyidae): origin and invasion sources inferred from mitochondrial (16S) and nuclear (ITS) sequences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

D. Navia
Affiliation:
Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Caixa Postal 02372, 70.770-900 Brasília, DF, Brazil
G.J. de Moraes
Affiliation:
Departamento de Entomologia, Fitopatologia e Zoologia Agrícola, ESALQ-Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 09, 13.418-900 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
G. Roderick
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management, Division of Insect Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3112, USA
M. Navajas*
Affiliation:
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre de Biologie et Gestion des Populations, Campus International de Baillarguet, CS 30016, 34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France
*
*Fax: +33 (0)4 99 62 33 45 E-mail: navajas@ensam.inra.fr

Abstract

Over the past 30 years the coconut mite Aceria guerreronis Keifer has emerged as one of the most important pests of coconut and has recently spread to most coconut production areas worldwide. The mite has not been recorded in the Indo-Pacific region, the area of origin of coconut, suggesting that it has infested coconut only recently. To investigate the geographical origin, ancestral host associations, and colonization history of the mite, DNA sequence data from two mitochondrial and one nuclear region were obtained from samples of 29 populations from the Americas, Africa and the Indo-ocean region. Mitochondrial DNA 16S ribosomal sequences were most diverse in Brazil, which contained six of a total of seven haplotypes. A single haplotype was shared by non-American mites. Patterns of nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) variation were similar, again with the highest nucleotide diversity found in Brazil. These results suggest an American origin of the mite and lend evidence to a previous hypothesis that the original host of the mite is a non-coconut palm. In contrast to the diversity in the Americas, all samples from Africa and Asia were identical or very similar, consistent with the hypothesis that the mite invaded these regions recently from a common source. Although the invasion routes of this mite are still only partially reconstructed, the study rules out coconut as the ancestral host of A. guerreronis, thus prompting a reassessment of efforts using quarantine and biological control to check the spread of the pest.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2005

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The invasive coconut mite Aceria guerreronis (Acari: Eriophyidae): origin and invasion sources inferred from mitochondrial (16S) and nuclear (ITS) sequences
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