Acta Entomologica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (1): 104-119.doi: 10.16380/j.kcxb.2017.01.012

• RESEARCH PAPERS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

DNA barcoding and its application in the identification of diets of insect herbivores

ZHANG Xiao-Man, ZHANG Ai-Bing*   

  1. (College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048,  China)
  • Online:2017-01-20 Published:2017-01-20

Abstract: DNA barcoding has been widely used and received much attention in recent years, pushing the development of multidisciplinary researches including taxonomy, and promoting the studies of evolutionary biology and ecology. DNA barcoding is not only used in initially proposed simple species identification, but also in studies of animal diets, food chain, and food web by using short DNA fragments extracted from in feces and intestinal contents of animals. In this article, we systematically reviewed the recent advances in DNA barcoding and its application in the identification of diets of insect herbivores, and elaborated the selection of DNA barcodes in the identification of herbivore diets and the contribution in the diet composition analysis. Finally, the related research of diets of Lepidoptera larvae was reviewed. Since the herbivorous Lepidoptera larvae cause serious damages and losses to forestry and agriculture,  the study of their trophic relationship has great significance for pest control and management.

Key words: DNA barcoding, herbivorous insects, diet composition, trophic relationship, Lepidoptera, larvae