Identification of Plant DNA in Adults of the Phytoplasma Vector Cacopsylla picta Helps Understanding Its Feeding Behavior

Dana Barthel, Hannes Schuler, Jonas Galli, Luigimaria Borruso, Jacob Geier, Katrin Heer, Daniel Burckhardt, Katrin Janik
2020 Insects  
Apple proliferation is an economically important disease and a threat for commercial apple cultivation. The causative pathogen, the bacterium 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali', is mainly transmitted by Cacopsylla picta, a phloem-feeding insect that develops on the apple tree (Malus spp.). To investigate the feeding behavior of adults of the phytoplasma vector Cacopsylla picta in more detail, we used deep sequencing technology to identify plant-specific DNA ingested by the insect. Adult psyllids
more » ... Adult psyllids were collected in different apple orchards in the Trentino-South Tyrol region of northern Italy. DNA from the whole body of the insect was extracted and analyzed for the presence of plant DNA by performing PCR with two plant-specific primers that target the chloroplast regions trnH-psbA and rbcLa. DNA from 23 plant genera (trnH) and four plant families (rbcLa) of woody and herbaceous plant taxa was detected. Up to six and three plant genera and families, respectively, could be determined in single specimens. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the feeding behavior of adult Cacopsylla picta.
doi:10.3390/insects11120835 pmid:33255992 fatcat:ql5jb7dmpjhmlpkaruzinjcely