Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Grand Exhibit Hall (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Species of the true fruit flies (Diptera, Tephritidae) are a potential threat in fruit and vegetable production worldwide, including sub-Saharan Africa where several invasions of these pests have been reported. Among Tephritid species, Dacus punctatifrons (Karsch) is considered a major insect pest of wild and cultivated cucurbits. It is a widespread pest in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Several previous studies have investigated the molecular taxonomy and population relationships for other Tephritid species, but little information has been reported for populations of D. punctatifrons. In order to study the genetic relationships between populations of this species, collections have been obtained from areas in Cameroon, Benin, Equatorial Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have used a PCR based approach to analyze mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences to analyze the genetic variation among these individuals. Our analysis includes regions of the mitochondrial genome such as cytochrome oxidase (COI and II) and ND4, ND5 (NADH subunit 4 and 5). DNA sequence information obtained from these Dacus specimens has also been compared to sequences from other well characterized species representing Tephritid genera such as Ceratitis, Bactrocera and Anastrepha. This should lead to a better understanding both of the genetic makeup of D. punctatifrons populations and the relationship of this species to other Tephritids.