The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae), ranks as one of the world's most destructive agricultural pests. This pest is also widespread and highly invasive; thus, it is a high priority for pest detection and quarantine programs. Although Mediterranean fruit fly adult and third-instar larvae can usually be identified and distinguished from other species by morphological keys, it is often difficult or impossible to identify or distinguish this species from other tephritids by using material from other stages of development. In such situations, use of a molecular technique known as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) would be valuable as a rapid and robust alternative species diagnostic tool. This method uses isothermal conditions and requires only relatively inexpensive equipment. In this study we have developed a simple and rapid procedure that combines a Chelex-based DNA extraction procedure with LAMP to rapidly detect the presence of Mediterranean fruit fly DNA and discriminate it from other species, by using material from different stages of development. Amounts of DNA as little as that recovered from a single egg were shown to be adequate for the analysis, and LAMP itself required only 45 min to complete.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3