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22 March 2024 DNA Barcoding of Locusta migratoria manilensis (Orthoptera: Acrididae) Reveals Insights into the Species and Subspecies Differentiation
Michelle S. Guerrero, Bonifacio F. Cayabyab
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Accurate identification and classification of insect species, especially those with significant economic and ecological implications, have historically presented challenges. Migratory locusts, Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), are notorious for their destructive impact on crops. Traditional morphological methods often face limitations in distinguishing closely related species and require taxonomic expertise. However, the emergence of DNA barcoding as a powerful tool for species identification has revolutionized the field of entomology. DNA barcoding utilizes a standardized DNA sequence, a molecular barcode, which serves as a distinct genetic signature for rapid and accurate species identification. In this study, DNA barcoding techniques were employed to identify and differentiate the migratory locust subspecies manilensis, in both its solitary and gregarious forms, as well as to determine its phylogenetic relationship with other related species within the Acrididae family. GenBank reference sequences were used to identify the locusts at the molecular subspecies level. Although the COI marker did not exhibit significant differences between the solitary and migratory forms, it was valuable in resolving the identification of L. migratoria subspecies. This lack of significant differences may be attributed to limited genetic variation of COI at the subspecies level and substantial genetic similarities between the solitary and migratory forms, likely stemming from a recent common ancestor. Nonetheless, using COI remains beneficial for subspecies identification in migratory locusts.

Michelle S. Guerrero and Bonifacio F. Cayabyab "DNA Barcoding of Locusta migratoria manilensis (Orthoptera: Acrididae) Reveals Insights into the Species and Subspecies Differentiation," Journal of Entomological Science 59(2), 125-132, (22 March 2024).
Received: 19 June 2023; Accepted: 3 July 2023; Published: 22 March 2024
COI gene
DNA barcoding
Locusta migratoria manilensis
oriental migratory locust
species identification
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