, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 759-773
Date: 04 Sep 2012

Population structure of the melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae, in Reunion Island

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Abstract

The melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is an agricultural pest of major significance worldwide that primarily attacks cucurbit crops. In Reunion Island, it represents the main tephritid pest on cucurbits. In this paper, we provide a genetic characterization of populations of B. cucurbitae from Reunion Island and investigate their geographical origin using ten microsatellite loci at two mitochondrial gene fragments. Microsatellites reveal the occurrence of three different genetic clusters of B. cucurbitae in Reunion Island, all clearly distinguishable from their African and Asian relatives. These three clusters are sympatric and show no signs of recent bottlenecks. Levels of gene flow among clusters are relatively high, yet gene flow also occurs with populations from the African continent and, to a lesser extent, from Asia. The B. cucurbitae clusters show distinct distributions across eastern and western locations in Reunion Island (but not at different altitudes or between wild and cultivated host plants or between sampling periods), and their abundance is also correlated with the average amount of rainfall. Microsatellite and sequence analyses suggest Africa as the most probable source area for populations of B. cucurbitae in Reunion Island.