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A novel diagnostic gene region for distinguishing between two pest fruit flies: Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) and Bactrocera neohumeralis (Hardy) (Diptera: Tephritidae)

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Starkie, M. L., Fowler, E. V., Piper, A. M., Zhu, X., Wyatt, P., Gopurenko, D., Krosch, M. N., Strutt, F., Armstrong, K. F., Patrick, H., Schutze, M. K. and Blacket, M. J. (2023) A novel diagnostic gene region for distinguishing between two pest fruit flies: Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) and Bactrocera neohumeralis (Hardy) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Insect science . ISSN 1672-9609


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/1744-7917.13299


Bactrocera tryoni and Bactrocera neohumeralis are morphologically similar sibling pest fruit fly species that possess different biological attributes, geographic distributions, and host ranges. The need to differentiate between the two species is critical for accurate pest status assessment, management, biosecurity, and maintenance of reference colonies. While morphologically similar, adults may be separated based on subtle characters; however, some characters exhibit intraspecific variability, creating overlap between the two species. Additionally, there is currently no single molecular marker or rapid diagnostic assay that can reliably distinguish between B. neohumeralis and B. tryoni; therefore, ambiguous samples remain undiagnosed. Here we report the first molecular marker that can consistently distinguish between B. tryoni and B. neohumeralis. Our diagnostic region consists of two adjacent single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the pangolin (pan) gene region. We confirmed the genotypes of each species are consistent across their distributional range, then developed a tetra-primer amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) PCR assay for rapid diagnosis of the species. The assay utilizes four primers in multiplex, with two outer universal primers, and two internal primers: one designed to target two adjacent SNPs (AA) present in B. tryoni and the other targeting adjacent SNPs present in B. neohumeralis (GG). The assay accurately discriminates between the two species, but their SNP genotypes are shared with other nontarget tephritid fruit fly species. Therefore, this assay is most suited to adult diagnostics where species confirmation is necessary in determining ambiguous surveillance trap catches; maintaining pure colony lines; and in Sterile Insect Technique management responses.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science, Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Science > Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture
Plant pests and diseases
Plant pests and diseases > Economic entomology
Live Archive:26 Nov 2023 22:13
Last Modified:26 Nov 2023 22:13

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