Navigation Links
Genetic analysis saves major apple-producing region of Washington state
Date:3/22/2013

In August 2011, researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture were presented with a serious, and potentially very costly, puzzle in Kennewick, Wash. Since Kennewick lies within a region near the heart of Washington state's $1.5 billion apple-growing region, an annual survey of fruit trees is performed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to look for any invading insects. This time the surveyors discovered a crabapple tree that had been infested by a fruit fly that they couldn't identify.

It was possible that the fly's larvae, eating away inside the crabapples as they grew toward adulthood, belonged to a relatively harmless species that had simply expanded its traditional diet. In that case, they posed little threat to the surrounding apple orchards in central Washington.

But the real fear was that they represented an expansion in the range of the invasive apple maggot fly, known to biologists as Rhagoletis pomonella. If so, then this would trigger a costly quarantine process affecting three counties in the state.

"In one of the world's leading apple-growing regions, a great deal of produce and economic livelihood rested on quickly and accurately figuring out which one of the flies was in that tree," says Jeffrey Feder, professor of biological sciences and a member of the Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics initiative (AD&T) at the University of Notre Dame. "And for these flies, it can sometime turn out to be a difficult thing to do."

As Feder and his team, including graduate student Gilbert St. Jean and AD&T research assistant professor Scott Egan, discuss in a new study in the Journal of Economic Entomology, the WSDA sent larvae samples to Wee Yee, research entomologist at the USDA's Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wapato, Wash. One larva was sent to Notre Dame for genetic analysis. The study sought to compare Notre Dame's genetic analysis to Yee's visual identification after the larvae had developed into adults. Fortunately, the fly identified, Rhagoletis indifferens, is not known to infest apples. The Notre Dame group further demonstrated that it is possible to genetically identify the correct fly species within two days, compared to the four months required to raise and visually identify the fly.

A separate study led by the Feder lab details how the apple maggot fly was recently introduced into the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., likely via larval-infested apples from the East. The flies have subsequently reached as far north as British Columbia, Canada, and as far south as northern California. So far, though, the apple maggot has not been reported infesting any commercial apple orchards in central Washington.

"The correct identification of the larvae infesting crabapple trees saved the local, state and federal agencies thousands of dollars in monitoring, inspection and control costs," Yee said. "The cost to growers if the apple maggot had been found to be established in the region would have been very substantial (easily over half a million dollars), but the rapid diagnostic test developed at Notre Dame suspended the need to proceed with the rulemaking process, saving staff and administrative costs."

The Feder team is continuing to refine the genetic assays to develop a portable test that would be valuable in apple-growing regions, as well as ports of entry where fruit infested by nonlocal insect species can be rapidly detected, to prevent the spread of the insect.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kirk Reinbold
Kirk.Reinbold.2@nd.edu
574-631-1470
University of Notre Dame
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Epigenetics studies take root in plants
2. Genetic analysis calls for the protection of 2 highly endangered Portuguese fish species
3. New database to speed genetic discoveries
4. Researchers divide enzyme to conquer genetic puzzle
5. 23andMe identifies multiple genetic factors impacting development of nearsightedness
6. Education resource focuses on teaching population genetics using current research
7. Found a genetic mutation causing mental retardation very similar to Angelman syndrome in Amish
8. Spiral Genetics Closes $3 Million in Funding Led by DFJ and Announces Partnership with Omicia
9. Antarctic and Arctic insects use different genetic mechanisms to cope with lack of water
10. Epigenetics mechanism may help explain effects of moms nutrition on her childrens health
11. New genetic study confirms Indian origins of pumpkins and cucumbers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2016)... DALLAS , June 20, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... by the prisons involved, it has secured the ... Corrections (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) ... (4) additional facilities to be installed by October, ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... YORK , June 2, 2016   The Weather ... is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers ... by being able to ask questions via voice or text ... Marketers have long sought ... the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... LAKE, N.J. , Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Phase 3 open-label two-year study of rufinamide, which ... the American Epilepsy Society (AES) held from December ... Analysis of final two-year safety, tolerability and cognitive ... with rufinamide experienced similar safety and tolerability profiles, ...
(Date:12/4/2016)...  In five studies being presented today during the ... Exposition in San Diego , researchers ... delivery of life-saving treatments to patients with a variety ... carry therapies directly to the sites in the body ... substantial advantage over traditional, systemic methods. The studies highlight ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... OAKS, Calif. , Dec. 2, 2016 Amgen ... AGN ) today announced the submission of a Marketing ... ABP 215, a biosimilar candidate to Avastin ® (bevacizumab). ... application submitted to the EMA. "The submission ... as Amgen seeks to expand our oncology portfolio," said ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... Aerocom Healthcare ( ... hospitals, will present its chain-of-custody solution for tracking and securing medications at booth ... Dec. 4-8, 2016. , Aerocom has a proven solution for tracking medications via ...
Breaking Biology Technology: