Development of DNA-Based Methodologies for the Identification of Mosquitoes and Insect Diversity in Ireland

Curran, Thomas (2023) Development of DNA-Based Methodologies for the Identification of Mosquitoes and Insect Diversity in Ireland. Doctoral thesis, SETU Waterford.

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Ecosystem services provided by insects include soil aeration, plant pollination and pest control. Insects also pose concern, particularly vectors for disease, such as some of the 3500 mosquitoes that occur worldwide. Across Europe, cases of mosquito borne diseases have been recorded and are associated with anthropogenic changes. Mosquito monitoring is vital to create informed mitigation measures in advance of potential disease outbreaks. Morphological identification of mosquito larvae and adults requires a high level of expertise and is susceptible to error. Here, we demonstrate the application of DNA technology to identify mosquitoes from larvae, adults and indirectly from the diet of bats using a combination of DNA-based techniques including Sanger sequencing, DNA metabarcoding and real-time PCR (qPCR). Sanger sequencing facilitated the identification of previously unrecorded mosquito species in Ireland (Culex torrentium and Culex quinquefasciatus). Using DNA metabarcoding on bat faecal pellets a highly diverse diet was revealed and allowed for the identification of four mosquito species, including Culex quinquefasciatus again. Finally, species-specific qPCR assays were designed and optimised and allowed for the rapid detection of mosquitoes from bat faecal DNA. The combination of these molecular techniques have facilitated the identification of mosquito species occurring in Ireland via direct and indirect approaches and have allowed for updates to the Irish mosquito and overall arthropod diversity checklists to be made.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: DNA-Based Methodologies, Insect diversity
Departments or Groups: *NONE OF THESE*
Divisions: School of Science > Department of Computing, Maths and Physics
Depositing User: Derek Langford
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2023 13:25
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2023 13:26

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