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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Constructing a Dna-Based Systematic Framework for the Bactrocera Dorsalis Complex (Diptera:tephritidae) for Improved Control and Quarantine

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1) Produce a voucher collection of Bactrocera samples across subspecies from diverse range of populations through input from international collaborator and collecting trips. 2) Perform morphological identification of specimens and provide samples for generic analysis to develop species and population level markers. 3) Initiate species complex population studies, provide taxonomic ID of specimens, and curation of molecular data and insect specimens.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Using traditional methods of fruit fly taxonomy we will trap, curate, and identify fly specimens within the B. dorsalis species complex. This traditional work will be conducted by a post-doctoral researcher with prior training in B. dorsalis identification. Samples will be collected from the Pacific region, East Asia, and Australia and then transferred to UH Manoa for curation at the Department of Entomology Insect Museum. After morphological identification, these specimens will then be available to be genetically analyzed using currently developed phylogenetic markers and new markers identified from genome-wide analysis of reference specimens within USDA-PBARC and the University of Hawaii at Manoa labs. Formerly 5320-22430-023-07S; 6/2011.


3.Progress Report

Over 5,000 individual Bactrocera fruit fly specimens have been collected and curated at the University of Hawaii Manoa Insect Museum. Sampling included trapping with methyl eugenol or cue-lure as well as collection from emergence from host fruit and includes samples from Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Japan, China, Taiwan, French Polynesia, Hawaii, and west Africa representing over 30 individual populations. Metadata including data, locality, host fruit or lure, etc. for each specimen is maintained with this specimen. All material from the Asian trips and other accessions (e.g. from Hawaii, and other places) is counted, catalogued and divided into morphologically recognizable units tentatively assigned to species. Up to four specimens of each unit from each transect are set aside for DNA extraction and sequencing, and 696 specimens have so far been pinned and labeled for reference collections. All recognized species were also photographed. From the Asian surveys, at least a dozen different species in the B. dorsalis complex and another 14 Bactrocera and as many as 25 undescribed new species of Bactrocera and Dacus were recognized, which will be the subject of future taxonomic work. 74% of the captured specimens in Asia belong to the B. dorsalis complex. Material from cue-lure and methyl eugenol traps were divided into 20 and 22 distinct units, respectively, based on morphological characters and color pattern. Keys published by Drew and Hancock (1994) as well as the Langton Ultimate Cosmic ray Intensity Detector (LUCID) interactive key were used to assign the recognized units to tentative species names. Groupings and their tentative identifications are now being validated by plotting them against results from mitochondrial DNA sequencing and comparing specimens to available identified material at the Bishop Museum (Honolulu). Communication with collaborators was maintained through regular email and teleconferencing as well as quarterly meetings to update on progress and plan future work.


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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