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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 567; doi:10.3390/ijms19020567

Molecular-Assisted Pollen Grain Analysis Reveals Spatiotemporal Origin of Long-Distance Migrants of a Noctuid Moth

1
State Key Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control for Fujian and Taiwan Crops and Fujian Province Key Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
2
State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China
3
College of Plant Protection, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
4
Department of Plant Protection, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang 453003, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions 2018)
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Abstract

Pollen grains are regularly used as markers to determine an insect’s movement patterns or host (plant) feeding behavior, yet conventional morphology-based pollen grain analysis (or palynology) encounters a number of important limitations. In the present study, we combine conventional analytical approaches with DNA meta-barcoding to identify pollen grains attached to migrating adults of the turnip moth, Agrotis segetum (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Northeast China. More specifically, pollen grains were dislodged from 2566 A. segetum long-distance migrants captured on Beihuang Island (Bohai Sea) and identified to many (plant) species level. Pollen belonged to 26 families of plants, including Fagaceae, Oleaceae, Leguminosae, Asteraceae, Pinaceae and Rosaceae, including common species such as Citrus sinensis, Olea europaea, Ligustrum lucidum, Robinia pseudoacacia, Castanopsis echinocarpa, Melia azedarach and Castanea henryi. As the above plants are indigenous to southern climes, we deduce that A. segetum forage on plants in those locales prior to engaging in northward spring migration. Our work validates the use of DNA-assisted approaches in lepidopteran pollination ecology research and provides unique and valuable information on the adult feeding range and geographical origin of A. segetum. Our findings also enable targeted (area-wide) pest management interventions or guide the future isolation of volatile attractants. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant-pollinator; Agrotis segetum; pollen grain analysis; DNA barcoding; migration; aerobiology plant-pollinator; Agrotis segetum; pollen grain analysis; DNA barcoding; migration; aerobiology
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chang, H.; Guo, J.; Fu, X.; Liu, Y.; Wyckhuys, K.A.G.; Hou, Y.; Wu, K. Molecular-Assisted Pollen Grain Analysis Reveals Spatiotemporal Origin of Long-Distance Migrants of a Noctuid Moth. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 567.

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