Application of the LAMP assay for the detection of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), from captures of pan traps
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We applied the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay to monitor invasions of Linepithema humile (Mayr), the Argentine ant, a notorious invasive insect worldwide. Species-specific LAMP primers were designed on the basis of the partial sequence of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I region of L. humile. The species specificity and sensitivity of these primers were determined in the laboratory and considered adequate for practical use. We also confirmed that the assay successfully detected L. humile from captures of pan traps, which contained L. humile and several non-target ant species. The assay detected the target species even when the captures contained only a leg or an antenna. Since the LAMP assay is simple and rapid, this assay will contribute to the early detection and accurate identification of L. humile.
KeywordsInvasive alien species Loop-mediated isothermal amplification Molecular identification Monitoring
We thank Yoshiko Sakamoto and Koichi Goka (National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan) for giving us several samples of L. humile, information on the bait used, and advice on how to perform field tests. We also thank Asuka Koyama (botanist; Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute) for simplifying our method by giving us feedback after she tested it. This study was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (4–1401) from the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
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