Thelohania solenopsae, a microsporidium infecting red imported fire ants, has been found throughout the southern United States. Reliable detection techniques are important in surveys to determine the geographic location and spread of this pathogen. Archiving of both microsporidian and ant DNA will allow reassessment of results in light of future discoveries, such as ant hybridizations or strain differentiation of the pathogen. An approach has been developed that determines infection both by microscopic and PCR techniques and preserves DNA collected from specimens in each ant mound, the sample unit. Application of this approach to surveys in Texas is presented.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Formicidae Solenopsis invicta (Red Imported Fire Ant)
Species 2: Microsporida Thelohaniidae Thelohania solenopsae
Keywords: protozoa, PCR
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