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Fruit pest targeted by genomic research
Date:12/4/2013

or ripening fruit, and the developing larvae feed on the soft fruit, crippling crop yields.

The spotted wing drosophila is a vinegar fly about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long with red eyes, pale brown thorax, and a black-striped abdomen. The males have a distinguishing black spot toward the tip of each wing. Females have no spots but have a prominent, saw-like ovipositor for drilling fruit to lay their eggs.

Chiu teamed with scientists at UC Davis, Oregon State University, the China National Gene Bank and the American Museum of Natural History as part of a $5.8 million project on the biology and management of spotted wing drosophila, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant to OSU entomologist Vaughn Walton and a team of investigators including Professor Frank Zalom of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, who is the lead UC Davis investigator.

Zalom, recently inducted as president of the nearly 7,000-member Entomological Society of America, said that the G3 article "presents a high-quality reference sequence of Drosophila suzukii, examination of the basic properties of its genome and transcriptome, and description of patterns of genome evolution in relation to its close relatives."

The SpottedWingFlybase Web portal has drawn more than 3,000 page views from 20 countries, including the United States, France, Italy, Belgium, China, Spain, Japan, Germany and Great Britain.

"Given this impressive response and the worldwide importance of Drosophila suzukii, I expect that the G3 article will become very highly cited and cast Joanna Chiu as a central figure in future Drosophila suzukii genomic studies related to topics such as insecticide detoxification, odorant reception and regulatory entomology," Zalom said.

OSU entomologist Vaughn Walton, lead investigator of the USDA grant, said: "Scientists from all over the
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Contact: Kathy Garvey
kegarvey@ucdavis.edu
530-754-6894
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

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