Research Article

Complete mitochondrial genome of the corn leafhopper Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)

Published: August 31, 2023
Genet. Mol. Res. 22(3): GMR19157 DOI:
Cite this Article:
H. Pozebon, G.A. Ugalde, Y. Gansemans, G. Smagghe, F. Van Nieuwerburgh, G.R. Stürmer, W.T. Tay, J.A. Arnemann (2023). Complete mitochondrial genome of the corn leafhopper Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Genet. Mol. Res. 22(3): GMR19157.


The corn leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis, is the most important pest of maize (Zea mays) in the Neotropics, due to its efficiency in pathogen transmission and close evolutionary association with the crop. This host specialization has enabled D. maidis to spread with maize, from their center of origin in Mesoamerica to all tropical and subtropical America, including Brazil. The population dynamics and survival strategies of D. maidis could be better understood by studying the species’ genetics, which has been little explored thus far. To fill in this knowledge gap, we provide here the complete mitochondrial DNA genome (mitogenome) of D. maidis (GenBank accession number: ON756137). Six adult specimens collected in Southern Brazil (Novo Machado/RS and Salvador das Missões/RS) were used for DNA extraction and sequencing on an Illumina MiSeq, followed by mitogenome assembling using NOVOPlasty v4.3.1, and annotation using MITOS v2.0.8. We confirmed the species identity by molecular diagnostics that showed >98% similarity between our reported partial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (mtCOI) gene and other D. maidis mtCOI sequences reported to date. The mitogenome of D. maidis is 16,488 base pairs long and contains 37 genes: 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNAs (tRNAs), and two ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes. Similar to other arthropods, the mitogenome of D. maidis is A–T biased (A: 32.3 – 32.9 %, T: 31.9 – 33.0 %). Primers for the mitochondrial COI gene were also designed to assist in future studies. This report of the D. maidis mitogenome will facilitate the development of effective molecular markers, rapid detection of field infestations and identification of migration pathways available for this insect pest in Brazil and neighboring countries.