Research interest





Spatial distribution of Aceria tosichella (Acari: Eriophyoidea) biotypes differing in their host specificity and invasive potential

Project funded by National Science Centre, Poland; realized on Faculty of Biology, AMU; 2012-2015


Key words

species complex, cryptic species, distribution modelling and prediction, Aceria tosichella, wheat curl mite, barcoding

The object studied: Aceria tosichella (WCM: wheat curl mite)

The outline of the project

The wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella (Keifer), is one of the most important pests worldwide known to infest cereals, mainly wheat. Recently DNA barcoding has revealed that in W Poland WCM consists of seven genetically distinct lineages, possibly cryptic species with divergent potential to infest cereals (Skoracka i in. 2013).

The general concept of the proposed study is to provide information on habitat use and spatial distribution of particular WCM biotypes (identified by DNA barcoding). Specifically, we aim to: 1) assess the distribution and abundance of distinct WCM biotypes in agricultural landscape; 2) ascertain realized niches of WCM biotypes; 3) understand factors determining the spatial and host-related distribution of specific WCM biotypes; 4) using the knowledge on biotype-habitat relationships to project their spatial distributions (risk maps and identification of high-risk areas).

These goals will be achieved by using a combined DNA barcoding and species distribution modelling approach. The study will include three seasons of field work, laboratory molecular work, environmental data analysis, and ecological modelling.

Field study