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Genetic variation in avocado stem weevils Copturus aguacatae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Mexico

Date: December 2010

Pub: Mitochondrial DNA, 2010, Vol. 21 No. S1: 38-43

Author(s): Rachel C. Engstrand, Juan Cibrián Tovar, Angélica Cibrián-Jaramillo, Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis


PDF Attached.



Background and aim. The avocado stem weevil Copturus aguacatae is an important pest in avocado plantations. Its presence hinders the production and marketing of avocado in Mexico, the largest avocado producer worldwide. Biological control through pheromone synthesis, a strategy favored over chemical control in crops, is currently limited by difficult field identification of this species.
Materials and methods. Using DNA barcoding, we examine the patterns of genetic variation of C. aguacatae in avocado trees in Mexico to help facilitate its identification and biological control. Results. We show that there is one single species of avocado stem weevil throughout the sampled sites in Mexico. Overall, haplotype diversity is high, with Oaxaca forming one distinct group and all other sampled populations are admixed irrespective of geographic origin.
Conclusion. The results suggest that high gene flow is maintained in this species and that a global strategy for biocontrol can be designed and implemented throughout the sampled range.

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