Allothrombium pulvinum Ewing is a common natural enemy of aphids and some other arthropods. So far, there are no studies that have addressed genetic variation of this predatory mite. We investigated genetic variation of A. pulvinum across its whole known range in Iran. A 410 bp portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (coxI) and 797-802 bp portion of the internal transcribed spacer 2 of rDNA (ITS2) were sequenced for 55 individuals from 11 populations, resulting in 12 and 26 haplotypes, respectively. In the coxI region, haplotype and nucleotide diversities varied among populations from 0.00 to 0.90 and from 0.0000 to 0.0110, respectively. In the ITS2 region they varied from 0.20 to 0.91 and from 0.0006 to 0.0023, respectively. For both gene regions the highest haplotype and nucleotide diversities were detected in population Mahmoud Abad from northern Iran. Statistically significant population differentiation (F ST) was detected in most pair-wise population comparisons. The results of population differentiation for both gene regions were generally congruent indicating that A. pulvinum from Iran consists of genetically different populations. This suggests that A. pulvinum comprises at least two geographically distinct populations or even more than one species. This study is an initial step towards understanding genetic variation of A. pulvinum, a taxon for which little molecular information is available. More intensive sampling and analysis of additional DNA regions are necessary for more detailed classification of this taxon.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science