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:11/19/2019)... ... November 19, 2019 , ... The inaugural Cell & Gene Therapy Day takes ... The one-day event will be chaired by Dr Aiman Shalabi, VP R&D, Cell and ... , “We are witnessing significant innovation in cell and gene therapies, and we are ...
(Date:11/14/2019)... , ... November 13, 2019 , ... Personalized Stem ... first patients in an FDA approved clinical trial for stem cell treatment of ... formation of the company as a subsidiary of VetStem Biopharma. , In July of ...
(Date:11/12/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... November 12, 2019 , ... ... Cross-Channel Spend Optimizer that improves digital advertising performance up to 25% and reduces ... Advertising, Cross-Channel Spend Optimizer uses advanced multi-touch attribution (MTA) to predict best advertising ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... , ... Sparks Marketing Group, Inc. (Sparks) announced ... healthcare-specific marketing firm, to strengthen the agency’s growing focus on the healthcare vertical ... in pharma, bio-therapeutics, medical device and healthcare technologies currently account for a large ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Catalent, a global leader in clinical supply services, today announced ... participate in a panel session titled “Cell and Gene Therapy Logistics” at the upcoming ... Chicago, on Oct. 28-30, 2019. , The panel session, on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... ... October 22, 2019 , ... ... that its lead program, DBI-001, met its primary safety endpoints, with no application ... 2a clinical trial for the treatment of interdigital tinea pedis (athlete’s foot). Additionally, ...
(Date:10/17/2019)... HAVEN, Conn. (PRWEB) , ... October 16, 2019 ... ... company that provides personalized, easy-to-understand, web-based genetic counseling information, has published a new ... a five year period and provides guidance as to how patients and medical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: