Several species of flea beetles of the genus Aphthona introduced from Eurasia have become major players in the effort to control the alien weed, leafy spurge, in grasslands and rangelands of the northern United States and southern Canada. Reduced genetic variability can be a by-product of releases derived from a small imported founding population and could affect the ability of the beetles to establish in certain habitats or on differing biotypes of the spurge. We report sequence and PCR-RFLP comparisons of mitochondrial DNA from different Aphthona collection sites. We also examine evidence that a Wolbachia infection, widespread in A. nigriscutis, is associated with a substantial reduction in mtDNA diversity.
Species 1: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Aphthona nigriscutis
Species 2: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Aphthona lacertosa
Species 3: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Aphthona flava
Keywords: mitochondrial DNA, Wolbachia
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