SYMBIOTIC BACTERIA AND "OMICS" TECHNOLOGIES TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL AND ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY CONTROL METHODS OF INSECT PESTS: THE CASE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT FLY (SYMBIOMICS)

Abstract: 

Background: The Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), Ceratitis capitata, is one of the world's most destructive fruit pests, due to its global distribution, wide range of hosts, rapid dispersion through human transport and tolerance to colder climates than most tropical fruit flies. The Medfly-associated economic risk is considerable. It has been estimated that an endemic infestation in California might cost over $1 billion/yr. Countries with permanent Medfly infestations depend on intensive integrated pest management programs using pesticides. Non-chemical control methods, like the sterile insect technique (SIT), are also used but are not always very effective.

Aim: Insect symbiotic bacteria have an important role in the biology, physiology, ecology and evolution of their respective hosts. In Symbiomics, we will investigate the Medfly and its symbiotic bacteria together as a "superorganism", following a systems biology approach towards the development of a novel, environment-friendly, "green technology" control method of this major insect pest.

Workpackages:

  1. Project management and dissemination.
  2. Functional analysis of the Medfly transcriptome.
  3. Symbiokosmos of Medfly.
  4. Medfly metagenome: from omics to applications.
  5. Symbiotic bacteria and applications.
  6. Medfly proteome: a novel approach for the elucidation of the molecular mechanism of Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility.

Expected results:

  1. Knowledge on the genome, transcriptome and the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the biology and ecology of the Medfly.
  2. Elucidation of the hidden Symbiokosmos of the Medfly and its role in the fitness of the insect.
  3. Evaluation of a Wolbachia-based strategy for the population control of Medfly under semi-field conditions.
  4. Characterization of the proteome of the Medfly-Wolbachia symbiotic association with special emphasis on the elucidation of Wolbachia induced cytoplasmic incompatibility.

Project info

Acronym:
SYMBIOMICS
Coordinating Institution:
University of Ioannina
Scientific Coordinator:
Bourtzis Kostas
Research Team 2 Leader:
Hatzigeorgiou Artemis
Research Team 3 Leader:
Sarropoulou Elena
Research Team 4 Leader:
Papadopoulos Nikos
Research Team 5 Leader:
Economou Anastassios

Stats

I.D.:
128
Mis:
375869
Duration (months):
36
Budget:
600 000.00
Diavgeia:
ΑΔΑ: Β49Θ9-ΖΞΤ

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