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Keywords:

  • 28S;
  • Ceroplastes;
  • COI;
  • DNA barcoding;
  • DNA markers;
  • wax scales

Abstract

Ceroplastes Gray (wax scales) is one of the genera of Coccidae, most species of which are considered to be serious economic pests. However, identification of Ceroplastes species is always difficult owing to the shortage of easily distinguishable morphological characters. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) sequences (or DNA barcodes) and the D2 expansion segments of the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene 28S were used for accurate identification of six Ceroplastes species (C. floridensis Comstock, C. japonicus Green, C. ceriferus (Fabricius), C. pseudoceriferus Green, C. rubens Maskell and C. kunmingensis Tang et Xie) from 20 different locations in China. For COI data, low G·C content was found in all species, averaging about 20.4%. Sequence divergences (K2P) between congeneric species averaged 12.19%, while intra-specific divergences averaged 0.42%. All 112 samples fell into six reciprocally monophyletic clades in the COI neighbour-joining (NJ) tree. The NJ tree inferred from 28S showed almost same results, but samples of two closely related species, C. ceriferus and C. pseudoceriferus, were clustered together. This research indicates that the standard barcode region of COI can efficiently identify similar Ceroplastes species. This study provides an example of the usefulness of barcoding for Ceroplastes identification.