This work is a collaborative effort to use field and laboratory studies for the design of conservation strategies. A. Vogler and R. DeSalle work in the Molecular Systematics Laboratory of the American Museum of Natural History and use DNA techniques for conservation biology. S. Glueck assisted in this work during an internship. B. Knisley and J. Hill study the biogeography and ecology of tiger beetles. Their efforts resulted in the listing of C. puritana under the Federal Endangered Species Act.
Using molecular and ecological data to diagnose endangered populations of the puritan tiger beetle Cicindela puritana
Article first published online: 14 APR 2008
Volume 2, Issue 6, pages 375–383, December 1993
How to Cite
VOGLER, A. P., KNISLEY, C. B., GLUECK, S. B., HILL, J. M. and DESALLE, R. (1993), Using molecular and ecological data to diagnose endangered populations of the puritan tiger beetle Cicindela puritana. Molecular Ecology, 2: 375–383. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.1993.tb00030.x
- Issue published online: 14 APR 2008
- Article first published online: 14 APR 2008
- Received 22 February 1993; revision accepted 25 June 1993
- conservation genetics;
- mitochondria] DNA;
- phylogenetic species concept;
- polymerase chain reaction
Populations of the puritan tiger beetle Cicindela puritana in the eastern United States were found to be highly threatened at the Connecticut River, whereas several large populations on the western shore and newly discovered populations on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay appeared to be less endangered. We assessed if the disjunct C. puritana subgroups are genetically distinct and therefore should be treated as separate units for conservation purposes. A total of 13 individuals from the Connecticut River and 27 individuals from the Chesapeake Bay were each analysed by sequencing of up to 837 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA per individual. Five different haplotypes could be distinguished. In a phylogenetic analysis of these DNA sequences that included four related Cicindela species as out-groups, haplotypes from the Chesapeake Bay represent a distinct clade. The conservation status of these populations was evaluated using a phylogenetic approach based on cladistic analysis and the framework of the phylogenetic species concept. According to this analysis, beetles from the Connecticut River and the Chesapeake Bay have to be considered as independent units. Populations from the eastern and western shore of Chesapeake Bay are not split in more than one unit using the same criteria, although they exhibited some degree of genetic subdivision. The results from the mtDNA analysis were corroborated by ecological parameters in that the Chesapeake Bay populations can be distinguished from all congeners by their different tat association.