Molecular identification of Andricus species (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) inducing various oak galls in Central Zagros of Iran

Majid Tavakoli, Samad Khaghaninia, George Melika, Graham N Stone, Asadollah Hosseini-Chegeni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study uses an integrated approach to address the taxonomic status of six different and problematic oak galls and their inducing wasps sampled from two sites in the Central Zagros Mountains (Lorestan province) in western Iran. Our aim was to establish whether morphologically similar but different galls are induced by the same or distinct gall-inducers. The gall wasp specimens were identified morphologically to species level, and their genomic DNA was extracted. We used PCR and Sanger sequencing to amplify three fragments comprising cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI), cytochrome b (cytB), and a multi-gene fragment of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) including partial 5.8S, complete internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), and partial 28S rRNA. We found that a pair of structurally similar but differently coloured galls are induced by the sexual generation of Andricus grossulariae, while another similar pair are induced by the asexual generation of A. sternlichti. In contrast, we found that two similar galls that differ in some structural details and in developmental phenology are induced by two closely related but different gall wasps; one is the sexual generation of A. cecconii, while the second is a new but closely related sexual generation Andricus sp.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMitochondrial DNA Part A
Early online date20 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2019


  • Gall wasps
  • Cynipidae
  • gall morphology
  • phylogeny
  • Andricus
  • Zagros
  • Iran


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