Origins of Wohlfahrtia magnifica in Italy based on the identification of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene haplotypes
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To identify the geographical origins of larvae of Wohlfahrtia magnifica (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) causing myiasis of sheep in Italy, comparative DNA sequence analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene was performed, based on gene fragments amplified by PCR from genomic DNA isolated from individual specimens. DNA extractions of 19 larvae from Lazio, Molise, Puglia, and Sicilia generated 17 readable sequences homologous to 2 haplotypes, either CB_magn01 or CB_magn02; DNA extracts from 4 adult flies from Calabria (reared from larvae) produced 4 readable sequences belonging to the haplotype CB_magn01. The two haplotypes found represent both the East and West phylogenetic lineages of W. magnifica, which is consistent with the species’ arrival from central/southeast Europe (East lineage) and/or from southwest Europe/northwest Africa (West lineage). This is the first report of the sympatric occurrence of the two lineages, which could have resulted from natural or human-assisted dispersal. Polymorphic nuclear loci will have to be characterized in order to explain the origins and lack of mitochondrial haplotype diversity of this pest in Italy, where it poses increasing veterinary problems.
KeywordsLivestock myiasis Wohlfahrtia magnifica Mitochondrial haplotypes Cytochrome b gene Phylogeography Italy
We thank Dr. Teresa Bonacci for the adult flies from Calabria region and the DNA Sequencing Facility, Natural History Museum, London, managed by Julia Llewellyn-Hughes.
AG and MJRH designed and supervised the study and identified the species morphologically. MM and AA produced the DNA sequences, which were analyzed by MM and PDR. PDR, MJRH, and AG wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors revised and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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