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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Research Project #431747

Research Project: Building Genomic Resources in the Anastrepha ludens Genetic Sexing Strain to Improve Efficacy of Sterile Insect Programs

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Project Number: 2040-22430-026-26-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

The primary purpose of this agreement is to support the current efforts made by USDA-APHIS to suppress and eradicate Mexfly in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Southern Texas which includes release of sterile Mexfly. To facilitate this, we plan to perform foundational research towards improving the efficiency of mass rearing of Mexfly, which will increase the effectiveness of the sterile release program. In this proposed project, both classical quantitative genetics and new genomic techniques will be utilized to identify and map black pupae, a trait necessary for sexual separation of Anastrepha ludens, and characterize the chromosomal translocation conferring sex-linkage of black pupae. Knowledge of the genetic basis of black pupae and the chromosomal arrangements in A. ludens will lead toward the development of a better GSS for SIT release and improve the Mexfly eradication and suppression program. Furthermore, the genetic tools gained will work towards integrating a sex-lethal trait to mimic the function of temperature sensitive lethal in medfly, enhancing straightforward male-only production.

The following methods will be performed: 1) Generate a chromosome-scale genomic assembly of A. ludens utilizing integration of a linkage map with a draft reference assembly. 2) Identify loci linked to the black pupae trait via QTL analysis. 3) Utilizing synteny to model species, identify genes in translocation that can be candidate targets for inferring sex-lethality in A. ludens. 4) Identify SNP markers associated with fecundity that can be used to select for increase colony productivity by GWAS analysis of colonies of varying fecundity.