Using microsatellite markers to study differentiation of cherry fruit fly (R. cingulata Loew) populations in Michigan's orchards and forests.
Larry Gut, PI, Luis Teixera, Rufus Isaacs, and Jim Smith, co-PIs

Funded through MSU GREEEN

The presence of resident cherry fruit fly populations within managed orchards is of primary concern because it increases the likelihood of having costly larval infestations in the fruit. Researchers will pursue two hypotheses: (1) the Pesticide Selection Hypothesis which supposes that flies evolved from populations historically present in the orchards with an earlier phenology, under selective pressure from insecticide sprays; and (2) the Black Cherry Emigration Hypothesis which states that flies with an early phenology migrated from black cherry and established populations and infested managed fields. Researchers intend to determine which of the two hypotheses is true by determining the genetic structure and phylogeny of cherry fruit fly populations in distinct habitats by using microsatellite markers recently developed for Rhagoletis. Determining the origin of resident cherry fruit fly populations in managed orchards will help growers choose the most appropriate control strategies. This will minimize the risk of costly infestations and reduce dependence on FQPA-targeted insecticides.