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The use of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis for studies of genetic variation in populations of Coccinella septempunctata in Belgium.

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Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, Gembloux Agricultural University, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium.


The movement and dispersion of Coccinella septempunctata and its efficacy as aphid control agent over large areas is not really understood because of the difficulty in identifying the origins of predators. To quantify the genetic diversity within the species and monitor the spatial foraging, populations were sampled from Belgium and analysed for RAPD DNA variation. Twenty decamer primers generated more than hundred polymorphic RAPD bands and pairwise distances were calculated between populations according to Nei and Li, then used to construct a radial neighbour-joining dendrogram and examine intra- and inter-population variance coefficients, by analysis of molecular variation (AMOVA). This study shows that while a number of factors can complicate the use and interpretation of RAPD fragments as genetic markers, RAPD analysis can be a valuable technique for studies of intra-specific genetic variation in C. septempunctata.

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