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The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) is an economically important pest on fruits all over the world. The origin of this fly is thought to be from Africa, but it has recently expanded its distribution in many geographic regions including Iran. Due to the wide spread of this pest in Iran and its serious damage to fruit on trees, including citrus orchards of northern Iran, the present study was conducted firstly to investigate genetic diversity within populations of C. capitata based on the sequences of three mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes including cytochrome C oxidase I (COI), NAHD dehydrogenase subunits 4 and 5 (ND4 and ND5) and secondly to compare the Iranian haplotypes with those found in other countries. Results of this study indicated low levels of genetic diversity (four, four and three haplotypes among different populations of this pest, respectively for the COI, ND4 and ND5 genes) in northern Iranian populations. The genetic similarity and very low levels of genetic diversity of northern Iranian populations suggest that the pest colonisation occurred relatively recently. In addition, haplotypes of Mazandaran province are similar to haplotypes of those countries that have recently been infected by this pest.
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