Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Molecular Diagnosis

  • Maria Navajas
  • George Roderick
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_4659

Molecular diagnosis refers to the taxonomic determination of organisms based on molecular criteria. Correct taxonomic determination is critical for entomological applications in many fields, including agriculture, environmental science, biosecurity, and human health. Because a major challenge in taxonomy is the discrimination among closely related forms, diagnosis mainly concerns the identification of organisms at the species level. One example is the case of cryptic species complexes, which are groups of closely related species that are difficult or impossible to distinguish by morphological traits alone. These complexes are known from a wide variety of arthropods and have been well studied in medically and economically important insects. For example, despite a near identity in morphological appearance, several sibling species of mosquitoes are separable with a variety of molecular-based methods. Conversely, molecular systems can be used to establish synonymy between presumed cryptic...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Navajas
    • 1
  • George Roderick
    • 2
  1. 1.INRA, UMR CBGP (INRA/IRD/Cirad/ Montpellier SupAgro)Montferrier-sur-LezFrance
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA