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Molecular and morphological identification of Anthocoris spp. (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) predators of three economically important psyllid species in Razavi Khorasan province, Northeastern Iran

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Although correct and precise identification of natural enemies is the bedrock of biological control, traditional identification methods for species may often rely on mundane and time-consuming dissection and rearing methods. The Anthocoris species complex associated with common psyllid species (Cacopsylla pyricola, Agonoscena pistaciae and Psyllopsis repens) in northeastern Iran was investigated. Three species including A. minki (two subspecies: A. minki minki and A. minki pistaciae), A. guentheri and A. nemoralis were identified morphologically (based on male genitalia and other structures used in taxonomic treatments of this genus) and by COI sequence analyses. Species-specific PCR primers were designed and utilized in a multiplex PCR assay for simultaneous identification of species. The primers amplified uniquely sized, species-specific PCR products for each species allowing identification of all species in a single reaction. This multiplex PCR experiments resulted in accurate and swift identification and discrimination of Anthocoris specimens found on main psyllid species in northeastern Iran.

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This study is a part of PhD thesis of the first author which was carried out at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. The authors are especially grateful to Dr. Pierre Moulet at Museum Requien, Avignon-France for confirmations of the materials, Prof. Lene Sisgaard at university of Copenhagen, Denmark for sending the A. nemorum specimens, Dr. David Horton at United States Department of Agriculture for proofreading the manuscript and all the reviewers whose comments greatly improved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Hussein Sadeghi-Namaghi.

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Hassanzadeh-Avval, M., Sadeghi-Namaghi, H. & Fekrat, L. Molecular and morphological identification of Anthocoris spp. (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) predators of three economically important psyllid species in Razavi Khorasan province, Northeastern Iran. Biologia (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-020-00433-x

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  • A. guentheri
  • A. minki
  • A. nemoralis
  • Biological control
  • Multiplex PCR