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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382406

Research Project: Systematics of Plant-Feeding Flies of Importance in Agroecosystems and the Environment

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: DROP: Molecular voucher database for identification of Drosophila parasitoids

item LUE, CHIA-HUA - University Of Maryland
item Buffington, Matthew
item Scheffer, Sonja
item Lewis, Matthew
item DRISKELL, AMY - Smithsonian Institute
item JANDOVA, ANNA - Biology Centre Of The Ascr Of The Czech Republic, Vvi
item KIMURA, MASAHITO - Hokkaido University
item CARTON, YVES - Organization And Evolution Of Plant Genomes (OEPG)
item Kula, Robert
item SCHLENKE, TOOD - University Of Arizona
item MATEOS, MARIANA - Texas A&M University
item GOVIND, SHUBHA - City University Of New York
item VARALDI, JULIEN - University Of Lyon
item GUERRIERI, EMILIO - National Research Council - Italy
item GIORGINI, MASSIMO - National Research Council - Italy
item Wang, Xingeng
item Hoelmer, Kim
item DAANE, KENT - University Of California
item ABRAM, PAUL - Agriculture And Agri-Food Canada
item PARDIKES, NICHOLAS - Sophia Agrobiotechnology Institute
item BROWN, JOEL - University Of South Bohemia
item THIERRY, MELANIE - University Of South Bohemia
item POIRIE, MARYLENE - Sophia Agrobiotechnology Institute
item Goldstein, Paul
item MILLER, SCOTT - Smithsonian Institute
item JIGGINS, FRANCSIS - University Of Cambridge
item TRACEY, A - Mercer County Community College
item DAVIS, JEREMY - University Of Indiana
item WERTHEIM, BREGJE - University Of Groningen
item LEWIS, OWEN - University Of Oxford
item LEIPS, JEFF - University Of Maryland
item LINDSEY, AMELIA R.I. - University Of Minnesota
item STANICZENKO, PHILLIP P.A. - Brooklyn College
item HRCEK, JAN - Biology Centre Of The Ascr Of The Czech Republic, Vvi

Submitted to: Molecular Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/27/2021
Publication Date: 5/29/2021
Citation: Lue, C., Buffington, M.L., Scheffer, S.J., Lewis, M.L., Driskell, A., Jandova, A., Kimura, M., Carton, Y., Kula, R.R., Schlenke, T., Mateos, M., Govind, S., Varaldi, J., Guerrieri, E., Giorgini, M., Wang, X., Hoelmer, K.A., Daane, K., Abram, P., Pardikes, N., Brown, J., Thierry, M., Poirie, M., Goldstein, P.Z., Miller, S., Jiggins, F., Tracey, A., Davis, J.S., Wertheim, B., Lewis, O.T., Leips, J., Lindsey, A., Staniczenko, P., Hrcek, J. 2021. DROP: Molecular voucher database for identification of Drosophila parasitoids. Molecular Ecology. 1-18.

Interpretive Summary: Molecular identification of morphologically confusing or complex insects is essential in many fields. However, the libraries of sequence data used for comparison purposes range in data quality. We present here criteria for managing and building such a database, and explain the value and use of such a resource. This is essential research and data for the fields of biological control, insect ecology, systematics and insect physiology.

Technical Abstract: Molecular identification is widely to expedite biodiversity surveys and laboratory experiments with increasing frequency and success. However, due to large numbers of sequences linked to ambiguously applied taxonomic names and a general lack of sequenced voucher specimens that have been identified by experts, many organisms and groups of organisms cannot be reliably identified using standard databases like GenBank or BOLD. Here, we address this problem for parasitoids of Drosophila, by introducing a curated, free, and open-access molecular reference database called DROP (Drosophila parasitoids). Not only is identifying Drosophila parasitoids is challenging, but their species richness is acutely underestimated, and they represent a significant untapped resource: by leveraging the knowledge base of D. melanogaster and related species, studies of these wasps have the potential to impact our understanding at multiple levels of biological organization. In DROP, genetic materials are linked to voucher specimens and, where possible, the voucher specimens are not only identified by qualified taxonomists, vetted through direct comparison with primary type material ( ). To initiate DROP, we curated 876 vouchers, 540 DNA sequences, 16 genomes, 8 transcriptomes, and 5 proteomes drawn from a total of 182 operational taxonomic units (OTUs): 113 described Drosophila parasitoid species, 69 provisional species, including 148 laboratory strains. We also provide an updated catalogue of Drosophila parasitoid species as a reliable taxonomic reference for the research community. DROP offers accurate molecular identification and improved cross-referencing with individual research studies that we hope will catalyze research on this diverse and fascinating insect model system. This effort should serve as an example for researchers facing similar molecular identification problems in complex and understudied organismal groups.