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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Commodity Protection and Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382756

Research Project: Improved Systems-based Approaches that Maintain Commodity Quality and Control of Arthropod Pests Important to U.S. Agricultural Production, Trade and Quarantine

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality Research

Title: O Moth, Where Art Thou: tracking navel orangeworm among tree nut orchards

item REGER, JOSHUA - University Of California
item Bansal, Raman
item WILSON, HOUSTON - University Of California

Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Regional Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Understanding the movement of small insect pests in agricultural systems is critical to the development of area-wide integrated pest management strategies. For many insect pests, little is known about their dispersal dynamics at the landscape level. Navel orangeworm (NOW) (Pyralidae: Amyelois transitella) is a pest of almonds, pistachios, and walnuts in California. Tracing NOW intra- and inter-orchard movement is a challenge due to the high dispersal capacity and broad host range of this moth. To trace host plant origin of adult NOW, here, we employed two approaches, compound specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA) and host DNA detection. The CSIA investigated the unique intrinsic signatures of 13Carbon and 15Nitrogen isotopes in the amino acid profiles of adult NOW. It revealed the presence of unique isotopic signatures of three food sources (artificial diet, almonds, and pistachios) in adult NOW reared from these food sources. To detect host DNA in adult NOW, we performed high-throughput sequencing (16S rRNA) and analyzed for the persistence of plant DNA. Our analysis revealed the persistence of mitochondrial DNA of almond, pistachio, and walnut in adult NOW. Both approaches have shown early promise to determine larval food source in adult NOW. Future validation and optimization of these approaches have potential to provide novel tools to study the movement ecology of this economically important insect pest.