PCR Species-Specific Primers for Molecular Gut Content Analysis to Determine the Contribution of Generalist Predators to the Biological Control of the Vector of Xylella fastidiosa

Text - scientific article/review article


The European Union (EU) is facing the recent arrival of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. Its fast spread has caused great alarm because of the economic impact it implies for the agroeconomy of European countries. Among its insect vectors, Philaenus spumarius has been demonstrated to transmit the bacterium from infected to uninfected trees in the EU, where different measures have been established to control it. One of the proposals to manage this vector is the augmentation of natural enemy populations. However, the identification of candidate predator species is essential if such a management system is to be introduced. The present paper describes a set of species-specific primers designed to detect the presence of P. spumarius DNA in soil arthropod fauna generalist predators' gut which can reveal candidate species for the pest's biological control. Such primers have been proven to be a useful and reliable taxonomic tool for P. spumarius identification at any life stage, i.e., nymphs. This rapid and accurate identification is essential for control strategies designed to avoid the spread of the pest and consequently the considerable economic losses it causes in crops.


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  • Hemiptera
  • Olea europaea
  • Philaenus spumarius
  • Xylella fastidiosa


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