The Phenology of the Apple Maggot Fly, Rhagoletis pomonella (Diptera: Tephritidae), in the Southern Appalachians

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Title: The Phenology of the Apple Maggot Fly, Rhagoletis pomonella (Diptera: Tephritidae), in the Southern Appalachians
Author: Giudici, Michelle Catherine
Advisors: James F. Walgenbach, Committee Co-Chair
Geroge G. Kennedy, Committee Co-Chair
Brian Wiegmann, Committee Member
Abstract: In contrast to many apple production areas, the phenology of the apple maggot, Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh), is not well understood in North Carolina and other areas of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Studies in western North Carolina in the 1970's reported a single flight period that occurred from mid-June to mid-September, with peak fight activity occurring in late July. More recent monitoring in Henderson County, NC, showed evidence of a bimodal emergence, with the first emergence occurring in late May to early June, and the second from mid July through August. It was not clear if this represented a bimodal emergence pattern or completion of two generations. The objectives of this study were to gain a better understanding of the phenology of the apple maggot in apple-producing regions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, to examine the post-diapause development requirements among early and late-emerging populations in North Carolina, and to determine if phenologically and geographically distinct apple maggot populations could be differentiated genetically using the COI gene of mitochondrial DNA. Apple maggot flight was monitored in abandoned apple orchards in western North Carolina and South Carolina that represented a diversity of elevations. A distinct bimodal flight pattern was observed at all locations. A second generation was also observed at lower elevations (300-330 m) in Polk County, NC, and Spartanburg County, SC. Only one generation was evident at higher elevations (>600 m) in North Carolina. Among early and late-emerging groups, the post-diapause developmental period was shorter in the early emerging groups compared to late-emerging groups. Based on sequences of the mitochondrial gene COI, no significant differences were found between early or late-emerging groups. Furthermore, analysis of the COI gene did not detect geographic isolation among populations from North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and West Virginia, or among populations in Henderson, Polk, and McDowell Counties in North Carolina. Blueberry maggot, Rhagoletis mendax Currans, from New Jersey did not differ at the COI gene from apple maggot populations in North Carolina and South Carolina, and were most closely related to the Upward Road location in Henderson County.
Date: 2006-05-04
Degree: MS
Discipline: Entomology

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