Towards the implementation of a DNA barcode library for the identification of Peruvian species of Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae)

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The genus Anastrepha is a diverse lineage of fruit-damaging tephritid flies widespread across the Neotropical Region. Accurate taxonomic identification of these flies is therefore of paramount importance in agricultural contexts. DNA barcoding libraries are molecular-based tools based on a short sequence of the mitochondrial COI gene enabling rapid taxonomic identification of biological species. In this study, we evaluate the utility of this method for species identification of Peruvian species of Anastrepha and assemble a preliminary barcode profile for the group. We obtained 73 individual sequences representing the 15 most common species, 13 of which were either assigned to previously recognized or newly established BINs. Intraspecific genetic divergence between sampled species averaged 1.01% (range 0–3.3%), whereas maximum interspecific values averaged 8.67 (range 8.26–17.12%). DNA barcoding was found to be an effective method to discriminate between many Peruvian species of Anastrepha that were tested, except for most species of the fraterculus species group, which were all assigned to the same BIN as they shared similar and, in some cases, identical barcodes. We complemented this newly produced dataset with 86 published sequences to build a DNA barcoding library of 159 sequences representing 56 Peruvian species of Anastrepha (approx. 58% of species reported from that country). We conclude that DNA barcoding is an effective method to distinguish among Peruvian species of Anastrepha outside the fraterculus group, and that complementary methods (e.g., morphometrics, additional genetic markers) would be desirable to assist sensu stricto species identification for phytosanitary surveillance and management practices of this important group of pestiferous flies.




Bartolini, I., Rivera, J., Nolazco, N., & Olórtegui, A. (2020). Towards the implementation of a DNA barcode library for the identification of Peruvian species of Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae). PLoS ONE, 15(1).

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