Managing outbreaks of the citrus long-horned beetle Anoplophora chinensis (Forster) in Europe: molecular diagnosis of plant infestation


Correspondence to: Agostino Strangi, CRA – ABP, Agrobiology and Pedology Research Centre, via di Lanciola 12/a, 50125 Florence, Italy. E-mail:



Anoplophora chinensis (Forster) (Coleoptera Cerambycidae) is a polyphagous long-horned beetle native to Eastern Asia that infests a wide range of broadleaved plants, causing disruption of vascular tissue, structural weakness and tree death. As a result, A. chinensis is a quarantine pest for the European Union. In order to confirm its infestations on plants, it is necessary to obtain adult or larval specimens on which morphological or molecular analysis can be performed. However, obtaining such specimens from infested plants can be a demanding and difficult task. Therefore, a diagnostic tool that is non-invasive for the plant and able to be performed in the absence of any insect stages may be useful to confirm infestations of A. chinensis on plants.


A protocol is presented that is based on polymerase chain reaction amplification using DNA extracted from A. chinensis faecal material collected in the field.


Results obtained in the present work show that the non-invasive approach is a reliable and accurate alternative diagnostic tool in phytosanitary surveys.© 2012 Society of Chemical Industry