Fast discrimination (RAPD-PCR) of the species forming the pest complex Aleurodicus dispersus-Lecanoideus floccissimus (Hom : Aleyrodidae)
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The Aleurodicus dispersus-Lecanoideus floccissimus complex has become a very important agricultural pest in the Canaries. These species are not easily differentiated by their morphological characteristics. The aim of the present study was to obtain genetic markers to unambiguously distinguish both species of this complex. Thus, six random primers were employed to generate RAPD markers. Different RAPD profiles were observed for the different species. The analysis successfully identified 39 reproducible and specific markers for L. floccissimus and 51 for A. dispersus, i.e. bands present in all individuals of one species but never in the other. RAPD markers resulted a useful tool for discriminate both species. Early identification of species and also of biotypes is crucial when designing control strategies to avoid the spread of the pest and consequently the considerable economic losses it causes in tropical crops.