Agricultural pests, Pest management, Apple maggots
Effective management of agricultural pests depends upon accurate identification of those pests. In Washington State, identification of the apple maggot, Rhagoletis pomonella, is hindered by the presence of Rhagoletis zephyria, a morphologically almost identical species. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), I identified three markers which differ in allele frequency between the two populations. Using these markers and the software NewHybrids, I was able to identify pure R. pomonella, R. zephyria, and hybrid flies collected from apple, snowberry, and blackhaw fruit in Bellingham, WA, and flies collected from blackhaw in central Washington. Modeling reveals that NewHybrids is able to distinguish 97.7% of pure R. pomonella flies, 100% pure R. zephyria flies, and 95% first-generation hybrid (FI) flies. Additional markers can be used to identify backcrossed (BC) and second- generation hybrid (F2) flies. These markers provide additional tools for agricultural monitors to check the spread of this persistent agricultural pest and for researchers studying the unique evolutionary history of these sister taxa.
Green, Emily, "Rapid Molecular Species Identification of a Morphologically Cryptic Apple Pest." (2012). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 287.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Apple maggot--Identification--Washington (State); Apple maggot--Control--Washington (State)
student projects; term papers
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