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Genetica. 2005 Nov;125(2-3):231-41.

Microsatellite analysis of olive fly populations in the Mediterranean indicates a westward expansion of the species.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Patras, Rion 26504, Greece.


Bactrocera oleae is the major insect pest of the olive fruit. Twelve microsatellite loci isolated from the genome of this insect were used in a Mediterranean-wide population analysis. These loci were highly polymorphic with a mean number of alleles per locus of 10.42 and a mean effective number of alleles of 2.76. The analysis was performed on a sample of 671 flies collected from nineteen locations around the European part of the Mediterranean basin. Despite the high level of gene flow across the Mediterranean, results support the notion of a differentiation of three subpopulations: one of the Iberian Peninsula, one of Greece and Italy and one of Cyprus. In addition, the gradual decrease of heterozygosity from the Eastern to the Western part of the Mediterranean indicates a westward expansion of the species.

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