Alina Avanesyan
Among the redwoods -- Muir Woods

Our paper on molecular gut content analysis of the invasive spotted lanternfly published in Insects!

– April 1, 2020

So happy to see our paper on molecular gut content analysis of the invasive spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, published today in Insects special issue “Molecular Gut Content Analysis: Deciphering Trophic Interactions of Insects”! This paper summarizes the results of my work on molecular confirmation of diet of the spotted lanternfly. In this study we showed, for the first time, that host plant DNA can be identified within the gut contents of the spotted lanternfly and demonstrated the use of this approach for deciphering the host plant range of the lanternfly. I’m very happy to get it done and be able to share. I’m also very thankful to Darsy, Jessica, and Nurani - my mentees and great helpers - who helped me with routine DNA extraction, sequence editing, and depositing sequences to NCBI GenBank.

Here is our paper:

Avanesyan, A., and W.O. Lamp. (2020) Use of molecular gut content analysis to decipher the range of food plants of the invasive spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula. Insects: Special Issue “ Molecular Gut Content Analysis: Deciphering Trophic Interactions of Insects”, 11(4), 215, doi.org/10.3390/insects11040215

A few selected figures:

Overview of the main activities of the study: collection L. delicatula nymphs and plant samples, DNA isolation from plant samples and L. delicatula gut contents, identification plant species, and determining lanternfly-plant associations.
Average sequence quality scores (QS) and contiguous read length (CRL) of the plant sequences isolated from gut contents of L. delicatula nymphs (SLF) and from the intact plant samples
Results of identification of plant species ingested by L. delicatula nymphs, based on sequences obtained for a portion of the chloroplast rbcL gene