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Genetica. 2011 Jan;139(1):129-40. doi: 10.1007/s10709-010-9510-8. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

The utility of microsatellite DNA markers for the evaluation of area-wide integrated pest management using SIT for the fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), control programs in Thailand.

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Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, RamaVI Road, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand.


The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is a key pest that causes reduction of the crop yield within the international fruit market. Fruit flies have been suppressed by two Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management programs in Thailand using Sterile Insect Technique (AW-IPM-SIT) since the late 1980s and the early 2000s. The projects' planning and evaluation usually rely on information from pest status, distribution, and fruit infestation. However, the collected data sometimes does not provide enough detail to answer management queries and public concerns, such as the long term sterilization efficacy of the released fruit fly, skepticism about insect migration or gene flow across the buffer zone, and the re-colonisation possibility of the fruit fly population within the core area. Established microsatellite DNA markers were used to generate population genetic data for the analysis of the fruit fly sampling from several control areas, and non-target areas, as well as the mass-rearing facility. The results suggested limited gene flow (m < 0.100) across the buffer zones between the flies in the control areas and flies captured outside. In addition, no genetic admixture was revealed from the mass-reared colony flies from the flies within the control area, which supports the effectiveness of SIT. The control pests were suppressed to low density and showed weak bottleneck footprints although they still acquired a high degree of genetic variation. Potential pest resurgence from fragmented micro-habitats in mixed fruit orchards rather than pest incursion across the buffer zone has been proposed. Therefore, a suitable pest control effort, such as the SIT program, should concentrate on the hidden refuges within the target area.

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