Pyralidae Phycitinae in Italian vineyards: behavioural and molecular genetic investigations


Abstract: In the last four years, during several surveys carried out in different wine growingareas of Veneto and Tuscany regions (Northern and Central Italy) for the monitoring and controlof the tortricid moths Lobesia botrana (Denis & Schiffermüller), Eupoecilia ambiguella(Hübner) and Argyrotaenia ljungiana (Thunberg), larvae of Pyralidae Phycitinae have beenfrequently found within the clusters, mainly after veraison. Samples of these larvae were used forlaboratory observations and reared to obtain the moths. Moreover, in order to collect field adults,pheromone sticky traps were installed in some vineyards. A randomized amount of the sampleswas then utilized for molecular analysis. A fragment of the cytochrome oxidase I (Barcode) waschosen for the sequencing. The identity of the species was verified using the on-line databasesBOLDSYSTEM and GenBank (NCBI). A total of 32 larvae and 28 adults (obtained from bothreared larvae and sticky traps) were processed, and sequences of approximately 610bp wereobtained. The phylogenetic analysis of the collected phycitins revealed the existence of 5 groups.The members of the first group present a homology of 99-100% with Ephestia unicolorellawoodiella Richard & Thomson. In both regions this species resulted the predominant phycitincollected in the clusters. A similarity of 100% with Ephestia elutella (Hübner) was found for themembers of the second group, all collected in Veneto vineyards with pheromone sticky traps,with the exception of one larva. The third group coincides with Cryptoblabes gnidiella (Millière).This species was only found in Tuscany, where it is the most frequent phycitin observed in thecoastal vineyards. The fourth group, including the 24% of the phycitin larvae collected in Veneto,shows a similarity of 99-100% with Ectomyelois (= Apomyelois) ceratoniae (Zeller). For themembers of the last group, collected in the pheromone sticky traps exposed in Veneto, nocorrespondence was found in the GenBank and the morphological identification is still inprogress. Results of this research, still ongoing, constitute a significant contribution to thecharacterisation of the phycitin population inhabiting the grape clusters during ripening in severalimportant areas of our Country.

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