Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Hard Winter Wheat to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research Unit

Title: Molecular markers for identification of Hessian fly males caught on pheromone traps

Authors
item Chen, Ming-Shun
item Wheeler, Shanda -
item Davis, Holly -
item Whiteworth, Jeff -
item Knutson, Allen -
item Giles, Kristopher -
item Skinner, Margaret -

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 12, 2014
Publication Date: April 28, 2014
Citation: Chen, M., Wheeler, S., Davis, H., Whiteworth, J.R., Knutson, A., Giles, K.L., Skinner, M. 2014. Molecular markers for identification of Hessian fly males caught on pheromone traps. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(3):1110-1117.

Interpretive Summary: Hessian fly is a major pest of wheat. Pheromone sticky traps have been used to monitor Hessian fly populations in the field in recent years. Because Hessian fly male adults are small and fragile, it is difficult to visually distinguish Hessian flies from other similar insects such as fungus gnats on traps. This study has established a quick and reliable method to correctly distinguish Hessian fly males from other insects. The method should provide a useful tool to molecularly identify Hessian fly individuals on pheromone sticky traps or in other situations when Hessian fly eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults are difficult to distinguish from other insects.

Technical Abstract: Pheromone traps have been widely used to monitor insect populations in nature. However, pheromone traps for the Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor), one of the most destructive insect pests of wheat, have been used only in recent years. Because Hessian fly male adults are small and fragile, it is difficult to visually distinguish Hessian flies from related insects such as fungus gnats on pheromone traps. In this study, we have established a quick and reliable method based on PCR markers to correctly distinguish Hessian fly males from other closely related insects. Two Hessian fly-specific markers were established, one based on the trypsin gene MDP-10 and the other based on a gene encoding the salivary gland protein SSGP31-5. Both markers can identify Hessian fly specifically with a high rate of success using DNA samples prepared from single insects. The method should provide a useful tool to molecularly identify Hessian fly individuals on pheromone traps or in other situations when Hessian fly eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults are difficult to distinguish from other insects.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page