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ARS Home » Plains Area » Kerrville, Texas » Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory » LAPRU » Research » Research Project #433588

Research Project: Whole Genome Sequencing of the Face Fly, Musca Autumnalis

Location: Livestock Arthropod Pests Research

Project Number: 3094-32000-041-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 10, 2017
End Date: Mar 31, 2022

The face fly, Musca autumnalis, is a non-biting, veterinary livestock pest known to mechanically transmit Moraxella bovis, the causative agent of bovine pink eye. The face fly range in North America extends from Alberta, Canada to southern California, but they are absent from the southwestern United States. The successful reduction or elimination of these fly populations relies heavily on integrated pest management tactics, which includes feed-through additives and insecticide applications to control the immature stages and adult populations, respectively. The face fly is closely related to the house fly, Musca domestica, yet they more frequently associate with cattle and require freshly laid dung as a substrate for larval development, biological characteristics that are shared with related biting fly livestock pests such as the stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) and horn fly (Haematobia irritans). Completed or ongoing sequencing projects for the house, stable, and horn fly provide an opportunity for comparative genomics of these pest species. Sequencing of the face fly genome would provide an additional group for such comparisons, enabling a more comprehensive understanding of the shared and unique pathways that underlie their diverse biologies. The cooperator's expertise in whole genome sequencing and related sequencing technologies, as well as his bioinformatics experience working with whole genome assemblies and annotations will be essential to the genome project.

A face fly genome sequencing strain will be produced at the KBUSLIRL using a fullsib pair mating strategy for at least 10 generations. A combined Illumina and PacBio approach will be used for the genome sequencing project. High molecular weight genomic DNA will be isolated and relevant libraries will be constructed by CUGI for subsequent sequencing on these platforms.