Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What's in a name? Everything -- if you're a fruit fly

28.10.2014

A global research effort has finally resolved a major biosecurity issue: four of the world's most destructive agricultural pests are actually one and the same.

For twenty years some of the world's most damaging pest fruit flies have been almost impossible to distinguish from each other. The ability to identify pests is central to quarantine, trade, pest management and basic research.


This is an Oriental fruit fly.

Credit: Ana Rodriguez

In 2009 a coordinated research effort got underway to definitively answer this question by resolving the differences, if any, between five of the most destructive fruit flies: the Oriental fruit fly, the Philippine fruit fly, the Invasive fruit fly, the Carambola fruit fly, and the Asian Papaya fruit fly. These species cause incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security across Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America.

The Philippine fruit fly was formally recognised as the same species as the Asian Papaya fruit fly in 2013. The latest study goes further, conclusively demonstrating that they are also the same biological species as the Oriental and Invasive fruit flies. These four species have now been combined under the single name: Bactrocera dorsalis, the Oriental fruit fly. The closely-related Carambola fruit fly remains distinct.

Professor Tony Clarke, Chair of Fruit Fly Biology and Management from the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), believes the integrated multidisciplinary nature of the project leaves little doubt the species are identical.

"More than 40 researchers from 20 countries examined evidence across a range of disciplines, using morphological, molecular, cytogenetic, behavioural and chemoecological data to present a compelling case for this taxonomic change," he said.

"This outcome has major implications for global plant biosecurity, especially for developing countries in Africa and Asia," said Professor Clarke.

"For example, Invasive (now Oriental) fruit fly has devastated African fruit production with crop losses exceeding 80 per cent, widespread trade restrictions with refusal of shipments into Europe and Japan, and significant economic and social impacts to farming communities."

Keeping exotic fruit fly out is a major concern for Australian biosecurity agencies. While an outbreak of Papaya fruit fly near Cairns in the mid-1990s inflicted $A100 million in eradication and industry costs, current estimates rate the Oriental fruit fly as the biggest threat to Australian plant biosecurity, with the total cost to the nation of an invasion estimated at $A1 billion. Combining the four species will mean a major reassessment of Australia's exotic fruit fly risk.

"Globally, accepting these four pests as a single species will lead to improved international cooperation in pest management, more effective quarantine measures, reduced barriers to international trade, the wider application of established post-harvest treatments, improved fundamental research and, most importantly, enhanced food security for some of the world's poorest nations," said Professor Clarke.

###

The paper, 'B. papayae, B. invadens, and B. dorsalis synonymy', has been published in the journal Systematic Entomology: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/syen.12113/abstract and is a collaboration between 33 research organisations in 20 countries, supported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

More information and interviews: Tony Steeper, PBCRC Communications Manager, 0417 697 470, t.steeper@pbcrc.com.au

Tony Steeper | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://pbcrc.com.au

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>