Penn State University
Shelby Fleischer, Liwang Cui, Brad Lovett (Pennsylvania State University); Dionne Clarke-Harris (CARDI)
This project sought to identify molecular markers of two gall midget pests impacting hot peppers in Jamaica. A complex of at least 2 species of gall midges was causing the export quarantine on hot peppers in Jamaica. Research has shown that the biology and ecology of these species may differ: for example, one species primarily inhabits bud tissue, and one inhabits fruit pedicel tissue. Cultural control efforts include fruit stripping; this, plus the harvesting process itself, could result in differential effectiveness of management if one type of plant tissue is segregated. Molecular probes would enable IPM studies to occur at a species specific level. Molecular-based data are also increasingly becoming important for defining the taxonomy, systematics, and host-plant relationships of gall midges; therefore this knowledge will improve taxonomic placement.
Identify species-specific molecular markers for use in development of a reliable molecular probe to distinguish between the two gall midge pest.