Microbial community analysis of painted bug (Bagrada hilaris) populations

Monday, November 17, 2014
Exhibit Hall C (Oregon Convention Center)
MacKenzie F. Patton , Biology, University of Texas, Tyler, TX
Chris M. Powell , Department of Biology, University of Texas, Tyler, TX
Darcy A. Reed , Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA
Thomas M. Perring , University of California, Riverside, CA
Blake R. Bextine , Department of Biology, University of Texas, Tyler, TX
The painted bug (Bagrada hilaris) is native to India and Africa, where it has been a serious agricultural pest of Brassicaceae crops. The insect has a wide host range, feeding heavily on Cole crops, such as mustard, cabbage, and cauliflower. These infestations have resulted on average, a 10% yield loss of crops. B. hilaris infestation is economically significant; in California alone, the production of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage was valued at $606 million USD, $210.6 million USD, and $67.5 million USD, respectively, in 2012.The painted bug has recently been identified in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and even as far as Texas. The migration of B. hilaris would lead to populations being exposed to different environmental factors, such as insecticides and diverse foliage, and potentially causing diversity among microbial communities. This is significant, because bacterial communities have been found to be involved in the detoxification of certain agricultural insecticides. In prokaryotes, the 16S rRNA sequences are highly conserved, thus allowing the 16S gene to be used to identify and compare endosymbionts of organisms. In this study, different B. hilaris populations from Mexico, New Mexico, and California will have their microbial communities identified using 16S rRNA sequencing.