Molecular identification of the western drywood termite (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) by loop-mediated isothermal amplification of DNA from fecal pellets.
A rapid and technically simple molecular detection method was developed for the western drywood termite, Incisitermes minor (Hagen), which is among the most harmful pests of wooden architectures. The method features DNA extraction from fecal pellets and species-specific loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) of DNA. As drywood termites have low moisture requirements, they easily infest artificial wooden products, and are likely to spread by human transportation of infested wood and wooden products. Rapid detection and accurate identification are essential tools for termite eradication at new sites of introduction. Our molecular detection method exploits the detectability and accessibility of fecal pellets and the accuracy and rapidity of the LAMP assay. The methodology permits rapid detection and identification of various drywood termites by designing specific primers for each species, and will be applicable to regulatory applications.