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Genes 2018, 9(11), 554;

Cryptic Diversity Hidden within the Leafminer Genus Liriomyza (Diptera: Agromyzidae)

Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, Via A. Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
Faculté des Sciences de Bizerte, Université de Carthage, 7021 Zarzouna Bizerte, Tunisia
Biodiversity and Crop Improvement Program (BCI), International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), 10112 Rabat-institutes, Morocco
Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Appliquée à l’Agriculture, INRAT, Université de Carthage, Rue Hedi Karray, 2080 Ariana, Tunisia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tools for Population and Evolutionary Genetics)
PDF [2000 KB, uploaded 15 November 2018]


Leafminer insects of the genus Liriomyza are small flies whose larvae feed on the internal tissue of some of the most important crop plants for the human diet. Several of these pest species are highly uniform from the morphological point of view, meaning molecular data represents the only reliable taxonomic tool useful to define cryptic boundaries. In this study, both mitochondrial and nuclear molecular markers have been applied to investigate the population genetics of some Tunisian populations of the polyphagous species Liriomyza cicerina, one of the most important pest of chickpea cultivars in the whole Mediterranean region. Molecular data have been collected on larvae isolated from chickpea, faba bean, and lentil leaves, and used for population genetics, phylogenetics, and species delimitation analyses. Results point toward high differentiation levels between specimens collected on the three different legume crops, which, according to the species delimitation methods, are also sufficient to define incipient species differentiation and cryptic species occurrence, apparently tied up with host choice. Genetic data have also been applied for a phylogenetic comparison among Liriomyza species, further confirming their decisive role in the systematic studies of the genus. View Full-Text
Keywords: leafminers; cryptic species; species delimitation; population genetics; molecular phylogenetics leafminers; cryptic species; species delimitation; population genetics; molecular phylogenetics

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Carapelli, A.; Soltani, A.; Leo, C.; Vitale, M.; Amri, M.; Mediouni-Ben Jemâa, J. Cryptic Diversity Hidden within the Leafminer Genus Liriomyza (Diptera: Agromyzidae). Genes 2018, 9, 554.

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