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

  • G.T. Behere (a1), W.T. Tay (a1), D.A. Russell (a1) (a2) and P. Batterham (a1)


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 conventional taxonomic differentiation based on morphological characters.


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Bulletin of Entomological Research
  • ISSN: 0007-4853
  • EISSN: 1475-2670
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