Species boundaries and genetic diversity among Hawaiian crickets of the genus Laupala identified using amplified fragment length polymorphism

Authors

  • Y. M. Parsons,

    1. Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138, USA
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      Present address: Department of Genetics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 Australia.

  • K. L. Shaw

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138, USA
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K. L. Shaw. Present address: Department of Biology, Biology/Psychology Building, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742, USA. Fax: (301) 314 9358; E-mail:ks233@umail.umd.edu

Abstract

Crickets of the genus Laupala represent one of the many morphologically cryptic groups of insects, with the most closely related species distinguished only by the male calling song. Cryptic groups provide a challenge in determining the genetic boundaries between closely related populations and species. We have addressed the question of species boundaries in the Hawaiian cricket, Laupala, using nuclear DNA patterns sampled by the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique. This method has been used widely by plant researchers to facilitate the rapid assessment of genetic diversity in very closely related species and varieties. The AFLP technique is simple and robust, can be applied to any organism, and overcomes problems associated with cost, development time, information content and reproducibility that can plague other marker systems. Our results support previously hypothesized taxonomic relationships among sympatric populations and suggest close genetic relationships among allopatric, conspecific populations.

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