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melon aphid (Aphis gossypii)

melon aphid (Aphis gossypii)

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is an important molecular marker for insect ecology. For instance, mtDNA markers have been used to analyze the genetic diversity of melon aphid (Aphis gossypii) populations on different host plants, informing understanding of their dispersal patterns. However, recent new suggests the utility of mtDNA may be more complicated than once thought. In a new review in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America, a team of researchers conclude that it remains a valuable basic tool but stress that scientists must consider the properties of mtDNA when using the marker and drawing conclusions from the data. (Photo by Jim Baker, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org)

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