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New Zealand Plant Protection 67 (2014): 8-12

Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequence variation in New Zealand and overseas specimens of Pieris brassicae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae)

E. Hiszczynska-Sawicka and C.B. Phillips


Great white butterfly, Pieris brassicae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae), was first detected in Nelson, New Zealand, during 2010 and is the target of a current eradication programme. Knowledge of genetic variation in introduced species can be useful for various reasons, such as inferring the geographic source of the invading population and recognising when the invaded area is reinvaded by new immigrants. Genetic variation in specimens of P. brassicae collected at Nelson, New Zealand, was assessed by sequencing a region of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI). COI sequences were obtained from 27 Nelson specimens and three haplotypes were found. Comparison to other sequences of P. brassicae, retrieved from GenBank and the Barcode of Life Data System, revealed that one New Zealand haplotype was identical to a sequence from Spain, Romania and Pakistan, and another was identical to a sequence from Germany. A third haplotype did not match any of the other available sequences.

Keywords: Pieris brassicae, COI, barcode, eradication, reinvasion.

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