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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Sampling, Identification, and Characterization of Peruvian Fruit Flies

Location: Systematic Entomology

Project Number: 8042-22000-262-03
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 08, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2014

Objective:
Collect samples of agriculturally important fruit flies (genus Anastrepha) from Peru as part of a project to find faster and more reliable ways to identify all life stages of exotic, agriculturally important fruit flies and to prevent their introduction into the United States; identify these species using morphological methods; and investigate molecular characters for species diagnosis and phylogenetic analysis.

Approach:
As part of a project to find faster and more reliable ways to identify all life stages of exotic, agriculturally important fruit flies and to prevent their introduction into the United States, this work will focus on the genus Anastrepha, the largest and most economically important group of fruit flies in the American tropics. Better means to identify the larval and pupal stages, which are those most commonly intercepted at ports of entry, and the adult males are particularly needed. Because sampling has been especially limited in the central Andean countries where fruit fly diversity is high, ARS and the Cooperator, the Amazon Conservation Association (ACA), will acquire samples from 3 areas in southeastern Peru at different altitudes and in different ecological zones. These include two biological field stations operated by ACA and a third area to be serviced by a contractor hired by ACA. Samples will be collected by running traps and searching for infested fruits for a period of one year. ARS will identify the adults based on morphological characters and contribute to investigation of DNA sequences. The larvae and samples of the adults will be forwarded to collaborators at the Florida Department of Agriculture and APHIS, CPHST who will investigate larval morphological characters as well as molecular characters. Samples of species of fruit flies (Anastrepha) will be collected by multilure traps and from infested fruits. The traps, lures, and other supplies will be transported to Peru by ARS and collaborators (Florida Dept. of Agriculture), who will train staff at the ACA field stations (Villa Carmen in Cusco Department, and Centro de Investigacion Rio Los Amigos in Madre de Dios Department) and the contractor, who will work in the area of Echarate and Quillabamba in Cusco Department. The ACA staff and the contractor will remove the specimens from the traps, transfer them into alcohol in vials, label the vials with the trap number and date, store the vials in a freezer, and replace the lures and preservative fluid in the traps as necessary. Larvae will be preserved from infested fruits that are encountered, and also preserve samples of the plants so that they can be identified. The samples will be transferred to ARS and collaborators, with portions of the samples deposited in Peruvian collections (fulfilling conditions of Peruvian research permits). ARS will identify the adult fruit fly specimens using an identification system that is being developed based on morphological characters. ARS and collaborators (Florida Dept. of Agriculture; APHIS, CPHST) will obtain DNA sequences for selected specimens of each species for a variety of genes (e.g., COI, CAD, EF1-alpha) appropriate for species diagnosis and phylogenetic analysis. Data will be shared with Peruvian institutions and made available on GENBANK.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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