Phylogenetic Analysis on Some Iranian White Grubs with New Data about Natural Pathogen of Polyphylla adspersa
Three species of white grubs, Polyphylla olivieri, P. adspersa and Melolontha melolontha (Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae) are among the serious economically important pests in Iran. Larval identification of those species is a difficult issue. Here, we provided DNA barcodes for these species of scarabids using mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase I (COI). The relationship between these three species of Iranian white grubs and related species was addressed. Among these species, P. adspersa is the predominant species in North-East of Iran, Khorasan provinces.The isolation of an unknown pathogen indicated the incidence of a natural infection by a species of entomopathogenic nematode from Heterorhabditis genus. Classic data as well as molecular characterization of this insect pathogen using ITS sequences confirmed the occurrence of H. bacteriophora in natural populations of P. adspersa. This is the first data about DNA barcodes of Iranian white grubs as well as new record for natural entomopathogen of P. adspersa larvae.
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