Molecular Characterization with RAPD-PCR: Application of Genetic Diagnostics to Biological Control of the Sweetpotato Whitefly
The application of genetic diagnostics under the umbrella of classical taxonomy was imperative for successful development and delivery of the biological control program against the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B (= silverleaf whitefly, B. argentifolii Bellows and Perring). In 1990, conventional genetic methodologies were not feasible because of the limited quantity of DNA contained in the tiny parasitoids imported for use against B. tabaci. At that time, a novel and rapid genetic method, RAPD-PCR, was adapted to categorize morphologically similar parasitoids emerging from parasitized whiteflies imported from foreign countries. Individuals of Eretmocerus and Encarsia from each unique culture in quarantine were quickly characterized using RAPD-PCR with selected DNA primers. Assigning unique RAPD banding patterns to native and foreign parasitoid collections set a precedent by capturing the maximum amount of parasitoid species diversity during quarantine processing; minimizing the number of duplicate cultures; assuring quality control of production colonies; and facilitating ecological studies and field evaluations.
KeywordsNatural Enemy Biological Control Program Classical Taxonomy Entomological Society Bemisia Tabaci
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