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The virome of Drosophila suzukii, an invasive pest of soft fruit

By Nathan C. Medd, Simon Fellous, Fergal M. Waldron, Anne Xuéreb, Madoka Nakai, Jerry V Cross, Darren J. Obbard

Posted 18 Sep 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/190322 (published DOI: 10.1093/ve/vey009)

Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) is an invasive dipteran pest of soft fruits that causes substantial damage to the horticultural crops of Europe and North America. As conventional control of this pest is challenging, an environmentally benign microbial biopesticide is highly desirable. A lethal virus could prove to be such a control agent. Here we use a metatranscriptomic approach to discover new viruses infecting this fly and its larvae, in both its native (Japanese) and invasive (British and French) ranges. We describe 18 new RNA viruses, including members of the Picornavirales, Mononegavirales, Bunyavirales, Chuviruses, Nodaviridae, Tombusviridae, Reoviridae, and Nidovirales, and discuss their phylogenetic relationships with previously known viruses. We also detect 16 previously described viruses of other Drosophila species that show potential association with D. suzukii in the wild.

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