ORS 6746-Huang et al 2016 Quantitative analysis by real-time PCR-6746.pdf (793.6 kB)

Quantitative analysis of diet structure by real-time PCR, reveals different feeding patterns by two dominant grasshopper species

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posted on 2023-05-03, 18:40 authored by Xunbing Huang, Huihui Wu, Mark McNeillMark McNeill, Xinghu Qin, Jingchuan Ma, Xiongbing Tu, Guangchun Cao, Guangjun Wang, Xiangqun Nong, Zehua Zhang
Studies on grasshopper diets have historically employed a range of methodologies, each with certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, some methodologies are qualitative instead of quantitative. Others require long experimental periods or examine population-level effects, only. In this study, we used real-time PCR to examine diets of individual grasshoppers. The method has the advantage of being both fast and quantitative. Using two grasshopper species, Oedaleus siaticus and Dasyhippus barbipes, we designed ITS primer sequences for their three main host plants, Stipa krylovii, Leymus chinensis and Cleistogenes squarrosa and used real-time PCR method to test diet structure both qualitatively and quantitatively. The lowest detection efficiency of the three grass species was ~80% with a strong correlation between actual and PCR-measured food intake. We found that Oedaleus asiaticus maintained an unchanged diet structure across grasslands with different grass communities. By comparison, Dasyhippus barbipes changed its diet structure. These results revealed why O. asiaticus distribution is mainly confined to Stipa-dominated grassland, and D. barbipes is more widely distributed across Inner Mongolia. Overall, real-time PCR was shown to be a useful tool for investigating grasshopper diets, which in turn offers some insight into grasshopper distributions and improved pest management.


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© The Author(s) 2016 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


  • English

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Springer Nature

Journal title

Scientific Reports




Huang, X., Wu, H., McNeill, M. R., Qin, X., Ma, J., Tu, X., … Zhang, Z. (2016). Quantitative analysis of diet structure by real-time PCR, reveals different feeding patterns by two dominant grasshopper species. Scientific Reports, 6, 32166. doi:10.1038/srep32166

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