Preparation of Mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) for Genetic Characterization and Morphological Examination
Journal of Insect Science
Mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) are economically significant agricultural pests on many different crops. Because of their small size and lack of easily visible characters for identification, determination of their taxonomic status is difficult and requires technical competency to prepare a slide-mounted specimen. The standard mounting technique does not allow for analysis of the genome of the specimen. Conversely, preparatory techniques for genetic analysis of mealybugs cause either loss
... cause either loss of the entire individual or physical damage that can make morphology-based identification difficult. This study describes a simple protocol that does not impact physical integrity of the specimen for fixation and microscopic examination yet enables simultaneous DNA extraction for DNAbased identification of four mealybug species. All species prepared yielded high quality slide mounts, identified as Planococcus citri Risso, Pseudococcus viburni Signoret, Rhizoecus kondonis Kuwana, or Rhizoecus californicus Ferris. DNA extracted in this manner had higher purity and yield in the final eluate than in samples extracted using standard methods. DNA extracted was successfully amplified by polymerase chain reaction using primers for the cytochrome oxidase I gene and subsequently sequenced for all specimens. This protocol is likely to be applicable to other Hemiptera taxa that are preserved by slide mounting, allowing for both the preparation of a high-quality voucher specimen for morphological identification and simultaneous analysis of DNA for the same specimen. The methods used are technically less challenging than current standard procedures.