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New Zealand Plant Protection 59 (2006): 297-303

Methods to distinguish between the Microctonus aethiopoides strains that parasitise Sitona lepidus and Sitona discoideus

C.B. Phillips, I.I. Iline, C.J. Vink, L.M. Winder and M.R. McNeill


Two strains of Microctonus aethiopoides with differing host preferences have been released in New Zealand. The first was released in 1982 to suppress Sitona discoideus, a pest of lucerne, and the second was released in 2006 for biological control of Sitona lepidus. This paper describes three genetic approaches (esterase isozymes, aldehyde oxidase allozymes and nucleotide sequences in a 676 bp region of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit one gene) for distinguishing between the M. aethiopoides strains. A range of research applications for these methods is discussed.

Keywords: isozyme, esterase, aldehyde oxidase, cytochrome oxidase subunit one, intraspecific variation, biotype, clover root weevil, lucerne weevil, biological control.

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