Identification of spider mites from Moringa oleifera using molecular techniquesby Z.P. Dube, P.W. Mashela, A.H. Abdelgadir

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science

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Year
2015
DOI
10.1080/09064710.2015.1019555
Subject
Agronomy and Crop Science / Soil Science

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Identification of spider mites from Moringa oleifera using molecular techniques

Z.P. Dubea, P.W. Mashelaa & A.H. Abdelgadirb a Department of Plant Production, Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, Republic of South Africa b Agricultural Research Council-VOPI, Private Bag X293, Pretoria 0001, Republic of South

Africa

Published online: 09 Mar 2015.

To cite this article: Z.P. Dube, P.W. Mashela & A.H. Abdelgadir (2015) Identification of spider mites from Moringa oleifera using molecular techniques, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science, 65:5, 479-482, DOI: 10.1080/09064710.2015.1019555

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09064710.2015.1019555

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Identification of spider mites from Moringa oleifera using molecular techniques

Z.P. Dubea*, P.W. Mashelaa and A.H. Abdelgadirb aDepartment of Plant Production, Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, University of Limpopo, Private Bag

X1106, Sovenga 0727, Republic of South Africa; bAgricultural Research Council-VOPI, Private Bag X293,

Pretoria 0001, Republic of South Africa (Received 21 January 2015; accepted 11 February 2015)

Moringa oleifera plants are highly nutritious and had since attracted much attention for serving as alternative crops in marginal communities in developing countries. Generally, claims abound that moringa plants are pestfree, with ISO precluding the use of unregistered products. However, moringa seedlings are often attacked by an unidentified aggressive spider mite (Tetranychus species) under humid greenhouse conditions, resulting in outright withering of seedlings, with the potential of decimating an entire moringa orchard. Thus, molecular techniques were used to identify the spider mites on moringa to the species level in order to allow for the development of management strategies. Spider mite strains from moringa and adjacent sweet stem sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) seedlings were collected and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene used for molecular identification. DNA sequences were generated and subjected to Blastn search on the National

Center for Biotechnology Information database, with the neighbour-joining method used to establish the relative closeness of the test strains to Tetranychus species. Phylogenetically, the test spider mite was, Tetranychus urticae, closely related to T. urticae strains in Lineage I, which is dominated by the Mediterranean haplotypes.

The derived information would allow for the development of appropriate management strategies of this pest on moringa seedlings using various products for eventual registration.

Keywords: moringa; Moringaceae; morphology; phylogenetic tree; Tetranychidae

Introduction

Leaves and pods from Moringa species contain phytochemical compounds for use in nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, pesticidal and medicinal industries (Mehta et al. 2011; Paiva et al. 2011), and the plant had since attracted attention for use as alternative crop in marginal communalities within the tropical and subtropical regions (Fahey 2005). Commendable attributes of moringa include (1) the ability to enter dormancy in areas with mild winters (Forster et al. 2013), (2) drought tolerance (Forster et al. 2013), and (3) leaf crude extracts with insecticidal and nematicidal properties (Coelho et al. 2009;

Claudius-Cole et al. 2010; Oliveira et al. 2011; Paiva et al. 2011; Murslain et al. 2013). Incidentally, there are claims that moringa is pest-free (Ramachandran et al. 1980). However, since moringa has a diverse number of species with established genetic variability (Machado et al. 2010), the pest-free claims should be treated with caution.

Under humid and warm greenhouse conditions,

Moringa oleifera seedlings are occasionally attacked by an aggressive spider mite, which results in the withering of seedlings (Olson 2014). Similar damage on moringa seedlings by spider mites was observed in our greenhouse during spring (July–September). Globally, spider mite, in the Tetranchidae (Acari: Prostigmaya) family, have over 1200 species that aggressively attack various crops, with various species having different management strategies. According to ISO developed for moringa in South Africa, there are currently no miticide products registered for the management of spider mites (SANS 2014), while registration requires efficacy tests, which include the *Corresponding author. Email: zakheleni_dube@yahoo.com