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Parasitaxus parasitized: novel infestation of Parasitaxus usta (Podocarpaceae)

Abstract : The world’s sole ‘parasitic’ gymnosperm Parasitaxus usta (Podocarpaceae) is endemic to the island of Grande Terre, New Caledonia. It is a threatened species because of its limited geographic range and progressing habitat fragmentation. Here, we report a novel scale insect outbreak on a Parasitaxus sub-population from Monts Dzumac in the southern part of Grande Terre. The identity of the scale insect was determined through combining morphological and molecular methods. The field collection of scale insects and their secretions from infested Parasitaxus specimens allowed morphological identification of the superfamily Coccoidea. Subsequent genetic sequencing using CO1 markers allowed phylogenetic placement of the wax scale insects to the genus Ceroplastes (Coccoidea, Coccidae), a widespread pest genus. The identified species, C. pseudoceriferus, has not been previously recorded from New Caledonia. As Parasitaxus is already vulnerable to extinction, this new threat to its long-term survival needs to be monitored. Other New Caledonian endemic plant species are potentially at risk of this new species, although it was not observed on Falcatifolium taxoides, the host of Parasitaxus.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 21, 2017 - 2:13:52 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 25, 2020 - 6:02:04 PM

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Leyla J. Seyfullah, Christina Beimforde, Vincent Perrichot, Jouko Rikkinen, Alexander R. Schmidt. Parasitaxus parasitized: novel infestation of Parasitaxus usta (Podocarpaceae). Arthropod-Plant Interactions, Springer Verlag, 2017, 11 (4), pp.507 - 514. ⟨10.1007/s11829-016-9494-0⟩. ⟨insu-01490401⟩

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