Entomology Today: Fruit DNA in Invasive Flies’ Guts Could Help Track Their Dispersal
Posted: 5/3/2018 — 3 weeks ago
Laura Kraft, PhD student at NC State University, has authored an article for Entomology Today, the blog of Entomological Society of America, describing a recently published study by Lauren Diepenbrock and others developing tools to detect fruit feeding by SWD.
Diepenbrock led the development to tools to detect fruit feeding, specifically on strawberries by SWD.
“It turns out the DNA was still very strongly detected after 24 hours,” Diepenbrock says. So, she held them for 36 hours before DNA extraction. Then 48 hours. Then 72. A collaborator at University of California, Davis, shared that they were collecting high-quality fly DNA samples from flies trapped in a preserving solution up to seven days later. Diepenbrock figured, “Well, if you can get fly DNA for seven days, maybe you can get fruit DNA for seven days.” She fed strawberry puree to the flies and held them for a full seven days in the lab on a cornmeal-based diet and still found traces of strawberry DNA. The results of this work were published this month in the Journal of Economic Entomology.”
This proof of concept study opens the door to develop markers for other SWD host crops and wild plants.