Gas chromatography for detection of fruit fly infestation (Diptera: Tephritidae)
Paul E. Kendra, Paul.Kendra@ars.usda.gov1, Amy L. Roda, Amy.L.Roda@aphis.usda.gov2, Wayne S. Montgomery, Wayne.Montgomery@ars.usda.gov1, Nancy D. Epsky, Nancy.Epsky@ars.usda.gov1, Elena Q. Schnell, Elena.Schnell@ars.usda.gov1, and Robert R. Heath, Bob.Heath@ars.usda.gov1. (1) USDA-ARS, Subtropical Horticulture Research Station, 13601 Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL, (2) USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, 13601 Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL
Tephritid fruit flies are one of the most serious economic pests of fruit crops worldwide. Detection of infestation is difficult since the larval stages are concealed within host fruits. At U.S. ports of entry, quarantine inspectors currently check only ~2% of incoming shipments by manually cutting open the fruit and searching for eggs and larvae. Consequently, there is great demand for high-throughput screening methods for invasive pest species. In this study, we evaluated gas chromatography (GC) as a potential technology for improved detection of hidden insect infestation. We compared GC profiles of volatile chemicals emitted from grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi Macfad.) which were 1) non-infested, 2) infested with the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew), and 3) mechanically damaged. Preliminary results indicate that there are peaks potentially diagnostic of damaged fruit and of larval-infested fruit. If infested commodities consistently release unique chemical profiles, this “signature” can be exploited to provide the basis for development of rapid, reliable screening protocols.
Species 1: Diptera Tephritidae Anastrephasuspensa (Caribbean fruit fly)