Location: Tropical Pest Genetics and Molecular Biology Research Unit
Project Number: 2040-22430-028-004-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2022
This project addresses the need for better molecular identification tools by accomplishing four major goals: (1) generate new expertly identified reference collections of members of Bactrocera species complexes and other species that are yet poorly represented in current resources (through collaborators), (2) generate new DNA sequence data and complete phylogenetic analyses to confirm which morphological or DNA information is informative to identify the species, (3) develop and test the use of SNP and sequence based assays for efficient species discrimination in Bactrocera fruit flies and determine which technologies are appropriate for use by Federal and State identification laboratories, and (4) develop robust computational methodologies for analyzing data generated against existing genome-wide SNP and sequence datasets.
In this current agreement, the suggestion will build on our team’s prior work on phylogenetic analysis of species in the Bactrocera dorsalis species complex and methodologies developed in population genetics of important species, extending these methods to species delimitation. New specimens will be collected and molecular resources generated to specifically address identification of additional pests in the B. dorsalis complex, B. frauenfeldi complex, and B. tau complex. The expected outcomes of this work will improve the ability of Federal and State laboratories to accurately, quickly, and cost effectively identify exotic pests including B. correcta, B. cucurbitae, B. dorsalis, B. latifrons, B. oleae, B. zonata, B. minax, B. tsuneonis, B. frauenfeldi, B. albistrigata, B. kirki and B. tau and discriminate them from closely related non-pest taxa.