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Keywords:

  • tephritid fruit fly;
  • DNA microarray;
  • DNA chip;
  • pest detection;
  • quarantine

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The ability correctly to identify species in a rapid and reliable manner is critical in many situations. For insects in particular, the primary tools for such identification rely on adult-stage morphological characters. For a number of reasons, however, there is a clear need for alternatives. This paper reports on the development of a new method employing DNA biochip technology for the identification of pest species within the family Tephritidae.

RESULTS

The DNA biochip developed and tested here quickly and efficiently identifies and discriminates between several tephritid species, except for some that are members of a complex of closely related taxa and that may in fact not represent distinct biological species. The use of these chips offers a number of potential advantages over current methods. Results can be obtained in less than 5 h using material from any stage of the life cycle and with greater sensitivity than other methods currently available.

CONCLUSIONS

This technology provides a novel tool for the rapid and reliable identification of several major pest species that may be intercepted in imported fruits or other commodities. The existing chips can also easily be expanded to incorporate additional markers and species as needed. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry