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Molecular taxonomic analysis of the plant associations of adult pollen beetles (Nitidulidae: Meligethinae), and the population structure of Brassicogethes aeneus

Ouvrard, P., Hicks, D. M., Mouland, M., Nicholls, J. A., Baldock, K. C. R., Goddard, M. A., Kunin, W. E., Potts, S. G., Thieme, T., Veromann, E. and Stone, G. N. (2016) Molecular taxonomic analysis of the plant associations of adult pollen beetles (Nitidulidae: Meligethinae), and the population structure of Brassicogethes aeneus. Genome, 59 (12). pp. 1101-1116. ISSN 1480-3321

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1139/gen-2016-0020

Abstract/Summary

Pollen beetles (Nitidulidae: Meligethinae) are among the most abundant flower-visiting insects in Europe. While some species damage millions of hectares of crops annually, the biology of many species is little known. We assessed the utility of a 797 base pair fragment of the cytochrome oxidase 1 gene to resolve molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) in 750 adult pollen beetles sampled from flowers of 63 plant species sampled across the UK and continental Europe. We used the same locus to analyse region-scale patterns in population structure and demography in an economically important pest, Brassicogethes aeneus. We identified 44 Meligethinae at ∼2% divergence, 35 of which contained published sequences. A few specimens could not be identified because the MOTUs containing them included published sequences for multiple Linnaean species, suggesting either retention of ancestral haplotype polymorphism or identification errors in published sequences. Over 90% of UK specimens were identifiable as B. aeneus. Plant associations of adult B. aeneus were found to be far wider taxonomically than for their larvae. UK B. aeneus populations showed contrasting affiliations between the north (most similar to Scandinavia and the Baltic) and south (most similar to western continental Europe), with strong signatures of population growth in the south.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:68135
Publisher:Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)

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