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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 26(4)

Cryptic species within the wheat curl mite Aceria tosichella (Keifer) (Acari : Eriophyoidea), revealed by mitochondrial, nuclear and morphometric data

Anna Skoracka A G , Lechosław Kuczyński B , Renata Santos de Mendonça C , Mirosława Dabert D , Wiktoria Szydło A , Danuta Knihinicki E , Graciela Truol F and Denise Navia C

A Department of Animal Taxonomy and Ecology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 89, 61–614 Poznań, Poland.
B Department of Avian Biology and Ecology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 89, 61–614 Poznań, Poland.
C Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Parque Estação Biológica, final W5 Norte, Cx. Postal 02372, 70.770-917, Brasilia, Brazil.
D Mirosława Dabert, Molecular Biology Techniques Laboratory, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 89, 61–614 Poznań, Poland.
E NSW Department of Primary Industries, Agricultural Scientific Collections Unit, Orange Agricultural Institute, 1447 Forest Road, Locked Bag 6006, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia.
F Graciela Truol, Instituto de Fitopatología y Fisiología Vegetal, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Camino 60 cuadras km 5½, Cárcano, X5020ICA Córdoba, Argentina.
G Corresponding author. Email: anna.skoracka@amu.edu.pl

Invertebrate Systematics 26(4) 417-433 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/IS11037
Submitted: 25 September 2011  Accepted: 21 August 2012   Published: 27 November 2012


 
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Abstract

The wheat curl mite (WCM), Aceria tosichella (Keifer, 1969), is one of the primary pests of wheat and other cereals throughout the world. Traditional taxonomy recognises WCM as a single eriophyoid species; however, a recent study suggested that two genetic lineages of WCM in Australia might represent putative species. Here, we investigate WCM populations from different host plants in Australia, South America and Europe and test the hypothesis that WCM is, in fact, a complex of cryptic species. We used morphological data in combination with nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and nuclear D2 region of 28S rDNA and internal transcribed spacer region (ITS1, ITS2) sequences. The molecular analyses did not support the monophyly of A. tosichella because the outgroup A. tulipae (Keifer, 1938) is grouped within WCM. The molecular datasets indicated the existence of distinct lineages within WCM, with the distances between lineages corresponding to interspecific divergence. Morphological analyses failed to clearly separate WCM populations and lineages, but completely separated A. tulipae from A. tosichella. The results suggest that what has been recognised historically as a single species is, in fact, a complex of several genetically isolated evolutionary lineages that demonstrate potential as cryptic species. Hence, their discrimination using solely morphological criteria may be misleading. These findings are particularly significant because of the economic importance of WCM as a direct pest and vector of plant viruses.



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