Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hidden habits and movements of insect pests revealed by DNA barcoding

Date:
March 27, 2010
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Researchers have found a faster way to study the spread and diet of insect pests. Using a technique called DNA barcoding, which involves the identification of species from a short DNA sequence, they studied populations of numerous moth and butterfly species across Papua New Guinea. DNA barcodes showed that migratory patterns and caterpillar diets are very dynamic.

Asota caricae moth. This moth has a two-inch wingspan and a 2,500 mile distribution.
Credit: Image courtesy of Lauren Helgen, Smithsonian Institution

University of Minnesota researcher George Weiblen and colleagues have found a faster way to study the spread and diet of insect pests.

Using a technique called DNA barcoding, which involves the identification of species from a short DNA sequence, Weiblen and an international team of researchers studied populations of numerous moth and butterfly species across Papua New Guinea. DNA barcodes showed that migratory patterns and caterpillar diets are very dynamic. In one case, a tiny moth that is distributed from Taiwan to Australia, has recently crossed thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean.

“DNA barcoding was developed for rapid identification but it also provides information about the habits and history of species,” Weiblen says. He says this technique is of particular interest in Papua New Guinea, a country slightly larger in size than California with an insect diversity more than three times that of the United States. “New Guinea is one of those special places on Earth where we know very little about its biodiversity. This rich natural environment is increasingly threatened by economic development, and I’m concerned about how much biodiversity might be lost before we’ve had a chance to understand it. DNA barcoding helps to increase the pace of discovery.”

Weiblen says that DNA barcoding can play an important role in studying the arrival of invasive species, such as the emerald ash borer, a species recently introduced from Asia. “We need to understand the genetic history of invasion in order to combat the pests that threaten trees and crops,” Weiblen says. “DNA barcoding can pinpoint the geographic source of an invading species and measure the distances over which pest species can travel.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Craft et al. Population genetics of ecological communities with DNA barcodes: An example from New Guinea Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913084107

Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Hidden habits and movements of insect pests revealed by DNA barcoding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309182447.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2010, March 27). Hidden habits and movements of insect pests revealed by DNA barcoding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309182447.htm
University of Minnesota. "Hidden habits and movements of insect pests revealed by DNA barcoding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309182447.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins