DNA-based methods for eriophyoid mite studies: review, critical aspects, prospects and challenges
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- Navajas, M. & Navia, D. Exp Appl Acarol (2010) 51: 257. doi:10.1007/s10493-009-9301-z
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Besides their potential for species identification, DNA-based methods are also routinely used for addressing ecological, evolutionary, phylogenetic and genetic questions to study several groups of Acari. However, in contrast to other plant-feeding mites and despite the economical relevance of many species of Eriophyoidea, very few scientists have dared so far to use DNA methods for the study of this group of mites; their very small size certainly has influenced this. In this review we examine the main techniques that have been used to study eriophyoid mites and discuss the results from the literature where DNA methods have provided significant advances to address several essential questions of the eriophyoid biology, e.g., to clarify suspect synonymies, to test hypothesis of cryptic species, to examine the occurrence of biotypes, especially in relation to virus ability or host-plant associations, to understand colonization patterns of invasive species, and for uses as biological control agents against invasive plants. We discuss these questions which might be related to agricultural issues, together with more fundamental aspects as the revision of the phylogeny of the Eriophyoidea. We discuss on the advantages as well as limitations of the most commonly used genetic markers and emphasize prospects and challenges of new molecular approaches. Much is now expected from molecular techniques in many fields of biology and for virtually all taxa. Eriophyoids should not be the exception.