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    Detection of host plant DNA from sap-feeding insects can be challenging due to potential low concentration of ingested plant DNA. Although a few previous studies have demonstrated the possibility of detecting various fragments of plant DNA from some sap-feeders, there are no protocols available for potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), a significant agricultural pest. In this study we focused on optimizing a DNA-based method for host plant identification of E. fabae and investigating the longevity of the ingested plant DNA as one of the potential applications of the protocol. We largely utilized and modified our previously developed PCR-based method for detecting host plant DNA from grasshopper and the spotted lanternfly gut contents. We have demonstrated that the trnL (UAA) gene can be successfully utilized for detecting ingested host plant DNA from E. fabae and determining plant DNA longevity. The developed protocol is a relatively quick and low-cost method for detecting plant DNA from E. fabae. It has a number of important applications-from determining host plants and dispersal of E. fabae to developing effective pest management strategies. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


    Alina Avanesyan, Nurani Illahi, William O Lamp. Detecting Ingested Host Plant DNA in Potato Leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae): Potential Use of Molecular Markers for Gut Content Analysis. Journal of economic entomology. 2021 Feb 09;114(1):472-475

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    PMID: 33146393

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