Rapid identification of the Asian gypsy moth and its related species based on mitochondrial DNA.
The gypsy moth - Lymantria dispar (Linnaeus) - is a worldwide forest defoliator and is of two types: the European gypsy moth and the Asian gypsy moth. Because of multiple invasions of the Asian gypsy moth, the North American Plant Protection Organization officially approved Regional Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 33. Accordingly, special quarantine measures have been implemented for 30 special focused ports in the epidemic areas of the Asian gypsy moth, including China, which has imposed great inconvenience on export trade. The Asian gypsy moth and its related species (i.e., Lymantria monocha and Lymantria xylina) intercepted at ports are usually at different life stages, making their identification difficult. Furthermore, Port quarantine requires speedy clearance. As such, it is difficult to identify the Asian gypsy moth and its related species only by their morphological characteristics in a speedy measure. Therefore, this study aimed to use molecular biology technology to rapidly identify the Asian gypsy moth and its related species based on the consistency of mitochondrial DNA in different life stages. We designed 10 pairs of specific primers from different fragments of the Asian gypsy moth and its related species, and their detection sensitivity met the need for rapid identification. In addition, we determined the optimal polymerase chain reaction amplification temperature of the 10 pairs of specific primers, including three pairs of specific primers for the Asian gypsy moth (L. dispar asiatic), four pairs of specific primers for the nun moth (L. monocha), and three pairs of specific primers for the casuarina moth (L. xylina). In conclusion, using our designed primers, direct rapid identification of the Asian gypsy moth and its related species is possible, and this advancement can help improve export trade in China.