The temporal and spatial population structure of Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013: 3:45 PM
Meeting Room 18 B (Austin Convention Center)
Christine Picard , Department of Biology, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN
The most common North American forensically relevant blow fly, Phormia regina, is an obvious target for population structure studies due to its ubiquitous presence.  Traditionally used as a model organism for physiological and nutrition studies, is now widely used in forensic investigations.  A lot is known about this species when they are present at a resource, such as carrion or a corpse, or in laboratory settings.  However, little is known about its population structure.  The goal of my research group is to study the population structure of P. regina.  We began by looking at a large number of DNA markers (AFLP) to determine how different populations were based on geographic origin.  We found samples collected within a short time period consisted of many related individuals.  This meant that following eclosion, dispersal was not necessarily random as initially observed in mark and recapture studies.  This translates to the possibility that each carrion or corpse contains a distinct (from other carrion or corpses) population of flies.  Our research group also looked at the genetic structure of wild adult flies caught within a short time scale (10 minute increments) to determine if there is a temporal effect on the population structure.  And finally, with the decreasing costs of high throughput sequence and the availability of bioinformatics tools, we are able to sequence virtually its genome.   We sequenced using restriction-assisted DNA (RAD) fragments of 14 geographic populations of P. regina.  These data allow us to continue to develop new markers for population genetics studies with the overall goal of defining the population structure of P. regina.