EPPO-Q-bank Arthropod database
Qbank's Arthropods database was first designed and developed as part of the QBOL project by J.-Y. Rasplus (INRAE-CBGP, France), A. Cruaud (INRAE-CBGP, France), A.J.M. Loomans (NVWA, the Netherlands) and collaborators between 2011 and 2015. Currently, the EPPO-Q-bank Arthropod database contains DNA sequences (barcodes) of quarantine arthropod species for Europe and their closest relatives. The choice was made to sequence the mitochondrial Cytochrome c oxydase I standard barcode fragment (COI) as well as the nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) to provide a reliable identification tool for all developmental stages of those Q-arthropods and congeneric pest species.
Most species sequenced originate from Palearctic and Nearctic regions.
To facilitate, identification of quarantine species about 100 closely related species have been sequenced (including also some pests).
A list of references used for the development of the Arthropods database can be consulted.
The distribution as well as relevant EPPO-protocols for Arthropods can be downloaded from the EPPO Global Database https://gd.eppo.int/
2021-11-10: A major update of the arthropod section of EPPO-Q-bank was made for the Tephritidae family with the addition of 836 new specimens and their respective COI sequence. 127 new Tephritidae species are now represented in the database. This new data was generated by the Royal Museum for Central Africa and was provided to EPPO-Q-bank within the framework of the EU Horizon2020 project ‘FF-IPM’ (grant agreement 818184).
2021-11-14: The EURL for insects and mites provided 97 new sequences to EPPO-Q-bank covereing 12 new species for which sequences were not available before and 34 species for which sequences were available but for which a wider variability is now covered.
Content of the database
Although EPPO-Q-bank is the most complete database for quarantine arthropods for Europe, several species are still missing. Thus, it is recommended to consult the list of taxa included to verify that the targeted species is included.
When the BLAST query does not match or when the best similarity rate is less than 98%, the identification should be considered as undetermined or uncertain, but not negative.
Warning regarding the identification of quarantine Arthropods using barcoding
This molecular database supports reliable identification of most quarantine species of Arthropods included, mostly using a 658-base pair fragment in the gene encoding the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI), corresponding the standard barcode as defined by Hebert et al. (2003)*.
However, several genera and complex species cannot be reliably identified using this gene. It is essential before providing a BLAST result, to carefully verify that the taxon does not belong to a listed taxonomic group for which the barcode is not working. The database also contains a few sequences of ITS2 gene, their use in practice is limited however as very few ITS2 sequences are available in international databases.
A list of taxa included in the database and a list of taxa for which the greatest concern is required are provided below.
List of taxa included in the molecular database whose identification is uncertain with the standard COI barcode.
Interspecific discrimination between closely related species inconclusive
Intraspecific discrimination between subspecies or biotypes inconclusive
Diabrotica sub spp.
Tortricidae: several species are very close together
Torticidae: not enough specimens in database to reflect intraspecific diversity
Choristoneura fumiferana / pinus
Rhagoletis completa / zoqui / ramosae
Rhagoletis pomonella / mendax
Anastrepha fraterculus / obliqua / suspensa
| Ceratitis fasciventris / anonae / rosa / quilicii|
Bactrocera dorsalis / carambolae
Bemisia tabaci biotypes
* HEBERT P. D. N., CYWINSKA A., BALL S. L. & DEWAARD J. R., 2003. – Biological identifications through DNA barcodes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 270: 313-321.