Characterization and utilization of microsatellite loci in the New World screwworm fly,Cochliomyia hominivorax

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Abstract

New World screwworm populations in North and Central America have been the targets of virtually continuous eradication attempts by sterile insect technique (SIT) since the 1950s. Nevertheless, in some areas, such as Jamaica, SIT control programmes have failed. Reasons for the failure of SIT-based control programmes in some locations are unknown, but it has been hypothesized that failure may be related to mating incompatibility between sterile and wild fly populations or to the existence of sexually incompatible cryptic species. This paper outlines the development of a suite of four new microsatellite loci which can be used to study intra-specific relationships between populations of Cochliomyia hominivorax from the Caribbean and South America, which represent those populations involved in, or earmarked for, forthcoming SIT control. Cross-amplification with the secondary screwworm, Cochliomyia macellaria, was also successful with three of the new loci. We present results which suggest that populations from Trinidad and Jamaica form distinct groupings of flies and that C. hominivorax from Trinidad appears particularly distinct.

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