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Open AccessArticle

Detection of the Lychee Erinose Mite, Aceria litchii (Keifer) (Acari: Eriophyidae) in Florida, USA: A Comparison with Other Alien Populations

1
Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA
2
Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
3
Systematic Entomology Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
4
Subtropical Horticulture Research Station, Miami, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Miami, FL 33158, USA
5
Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville, FL 32614, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(4), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11040235
Received: 20 March 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 9 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Arthropod Pests)
The lychee erinose mite (LEM), Aceria litchii (Keifer) is a serious pest of lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.). LEM causes a type of gall called ‘erineum’ (abnormal felty growth of trichomes from the epidermis), where it feeds, reproduces and protects itself from biotic and abiotic adversities. In February of 2018, LEM was found in a commercial lychee orchard on Pine Island, Florida. Infestations were recorded on young leaves, stems, and inflorescences of approximately 30 young trees (1.5–3.0 yrs.) of three lychee varieties presenting abundant new growth. Although LEM is present in Hawaii, this mite is a prioritized quarantine pest in the continental USA and its territories. Florida LEM specimens showed small morphological differences from the original taxonomic descriptions of Keifer (1943) and Huang (2008). The observed differences are probably an artifact of the drawings in the original descriptions. Molecular comparisons were conducted on the DNA of LEM specimens from India, Hawaii, Brazil, Taiwan, Australia and Florida. The amplified COI fragment showed very low nucleotide variation among the locations and thus, could be used for accurate LEM identification. The ITS1 sequences and partial 5.8S fragments displayed no nucleotide differences for specimens from any of the locations except Australia. Consistent differences were observed in the ITS2 and 28S fragments. The ITS1-ITS2 concatenated phylogeny yielded two lineages, with Australia in one group and Hawaii, India, Brazil, Florida and Taiwan in another. Specimens from Taiwan and Florida present identical ITS and rDNA segments, suggesting a common origin; however, analysis of additional sequences is needed to confirm the origin of the Florida population. View Full-Text
Keywords: invasive mite species; erinea; Litchi chinensis; galls invasive mite species; erinea; Litchi chinensis; galls
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Carrillo, D.; Cruz, L.F.; Revynthi, A.M.; Duncan, R.E.; Bauchan, G.R.; Ochoa, R.; Kendra, P.E.; Bolton, S.J. Detection of the Lychee Erinose Mite, Aceria litchii (Keifer) (Acari: Eriophyidae) in Florida, USA: A Comparison with Other Alien Populations. Insects 2020, 11, 235.

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