Cheatgrass is an annual grass species from Eurasia that has become invasive in much of western North America. It has been implicated in recent increases in the frequency, size, and intensity of wildfires, contributing to severe economic, environmental, and social destruction. In order to reduce this damage, the USDA-ARS established a classical biological control program against cheatgrass. In 2018 and 2019, adult gall midges were collected emerging from cheatgrass seed heads collected at several sites in Bulgaria and Greece; this is the first gall midge ever recorded from cheatgrass. Morphological comparisons with related midge species recorded from other plant hosts revealed that this midge from cheatgrass is a new species, described here as Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. This status was supported by sequence comparisons of a barcode region of the gene encoding the mitochondrial cytochrome c subunit I (CO1) protein in Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. and three congeners. The present study is the first to report MT-CO1 data in the genus Stenodiplosis. The ingroup Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. collected in the Balkans grouped in one phylogenetic supported clade, with an average K2P-distance from its closest related congener, S. sorghicola, of 7.73% (SD = 1.10). The findings indicated relatively high year-to-year within-population diversity. Implications for this gall midge’s utility as a biological control agent of cheatgrass are discussed.

Taxonomic description of stenodiplosis tectori n. Sp. (diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a seed parasite of cheatgrass, anisantha tectorum, based on morphological and mitochondrial dna data

Cristofaro M.
2021

Abstract

Cheatgrass is an annual grass species from Eurasia that has become invasive in much of western North America. It has been implicated in recent increases in the frequency, size, and intensity of wildfires, contributing to severe economic, environmental, and social destruction. In order to reduce this damage, the USDA-ARS established a classical biological control program against cheatgrass. In 2018 and 2019, adult gall midges were collected emerging from cheatgrass seed heads collected at several sites in Bulgaria and Greece; this is the first gall midge ever recorded from cheatgrass. Morphological comparisons with related midge species recorded from other plant hosts revealed that this midge from cheatgrass is a new species, described here as Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. This status was supported by sequence comparisons of a barcode region of the gene encoding the mitochondrial cytochrome c subunit I (CO1) protein in Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. and three congeners. The present study is the first to report MT-CO1 data in the genus Stenodiplosis. The ingroup Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. collected in the Balkans grouped in one phylogenetic supported clade, with an average K2P-distance from its closest related congener, S. sorghicola, of 7.73% (SD = 1.10). The findings indicated relatively high year-to-year within-population diversity. Implications for this gall midge’s utility as a biological control agent of cheatgrass are discussed.
Annual grass
Bromus sensu lato
Classical biological control of weeds
Invasive species
Poaceae
Wildfire
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/62941
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