Identification of Mgenia fuscovaria and other vine associated leafhoppers by cytochrome oxidase 1 gene nucleotide sequence determination.
ARC Plant Protection Research Institute. Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Currently identification of the leafhopper Mgenia fuscovaria, a vector of aster yellows phytoplasma (AY) is done by a highly experienced taxonomist, Mr. M. Stiller (ARC-PPRI), based on morphology, especially of the male genitalia. Currently female leafhopper, nymphs, and deposited eggs cannot be identified by this means and controlled transmissions with nymphs confirmed as M. fuscovaria cannot be done. Also very limited numbers of individuals can be identified by the labour intensive morphological determination, and other than by Mike Stiller, cannot be done elsewhere. We propose to develop a technique to identify the leafhopper based on the sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) gene and to develop a method of M. fuscovaria identification that will allow Mike Stiller and other workers on AY to identify large numbers of individuals, females and nymphs allowing transmission studies and biological studies to be conducted. The technique will be utilised to identify specimens of M. fuscovaria and to determine the distribution of this leafhopper in the wine grape production areas of South Africa, in order to gauge the potential of spread of AY. The leafhopper identification technique (which will be based on direct sequencing of the mtCOI gene) will then be compared to other leafhopper species associated with vines, that are also differentiated morphologically.
Pietersen, G. 2016. Molekulêre identifikasie van die blaarspringervektor van astervergelingsiekte van wingerd in Suid-Afrika, WineLand, Mnth Jul (p. 68-70)