History

In the past, many new species have been identified and inventoried using DNA barcoding. It is also often possible to avoid using unspecific insecticides and pesticides, as DNA barcoding can be used to quickly identify the eggs and larval stages of possible pests and thus be able to use targeted countermeasures.

 

2011 Cherry fruit fly new in Germany

In 2011, the dangerous pest Drosophila suzukii was detected for the first time in Germany as part of our basic research on DNA barcoding. The cherry fruit fly from Asia is a dreaded pest in soft fruits, grapes and cherries, which can destroy whole crops within a few days. The species is endangering existence for fruit growers and winegrowers and has so far occurred mainly in South Tyrol and other southern European fruit growing areas.

 

 

 

Barcoding now makes it possible for AIM to identify this pest quickly and safely. Only then can the emergency measures necessary to save the harvest be taken. The few millimeter-sized white maggots of the fly cannot otherwise be identified and, above all, cannot be distinguished from harmless indigenous species.

 

In order to facilitate the detection of the pest, AIM has developed a special method to extract the gene sequence of the pest also from samples of sent in berries.

2014 Seabuckthorn fruit fly on the rise

Sea buckthorn, grown mainly in Northeastern Germany on approximately 600 hectares, was previously considered largely pest-free. But in 2013, for the first time, major failures occurred due to an unknown pest that locally destroyed most of the crop.

 

The experts quickly found the cause, small white fly maggots in the sea buckthorn fruits, but they could not clearly identify them due to missing characteristics. Only the Dutch Naturalis Biodiversity Center determined the maggots as a larva of the dreaded sea-buckthorn fruit fly, which migrates mainly from Eastern Europe with us. At that time we could genetically sequence maggots and store them in the BOLD database. In the future, it will be possible for our laboratory to quickly and clearly identify this pest. Already, eggs are suitable for analysis. This is important for farmers to know if they are really dealing with this pest and not with a harmless relative. Because a corresponding fight is complex and must be done very quickly if necessary.

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