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

Nathan C. Medd* (Corresponding Author), Simon Fellous, Fergal Waldron, Anne Xuéreb, Madoka Nakai, Jerry V. Cross, Darren J. Obbard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) is one of the most damaging and costly pests to invade temperate horticultural regions in recent history. Conventional control of this pest is challenging, and an environmentally benign microbial biopesticide is highly desirable. A thorough exploration of the pathogens infecting this pest is not only the first step on the road to the development of an effective biopesticide, but also provides a valuable comparative dataset for the study of viruses in the model family Drosophilidae. Here we use a metatransciptomic approach to identify viruses infecting this fly in both its native (Japanese) and invasive (British and French) ranges. We describe eighteen 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 18 previously described viruses of other Drosophila species that appear to be associated with D. suzukii in the wild.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbervey009
Number of pages14
JournalVirus Evolution
Issue number1
Early online dateJan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

We thank Michelle Fountain, Bethan Shaw, Adrian Harris, Maddie Cannon, and the entomological team at East Malling research for support in collecting British flies. We thank members of the Nakai Lab at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology for making us welcome, and the staff at the TUAT Field Museum Tama hills, Yamagata Prefectural Agricultural Research Centre, Agriculture Centre Kaju Institute, Fukushima and Yamanashi Prefecture Outside Organization Fruit Tree Test Site for support during field collections. We thank Edinburgh Genomics for sequencing, and members of the Obbard and Vale labs for discussion. This work was funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship (WT085064) to D.J.O. and an Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board grant to D.J.O. and J.V.C. to support N.C.M.’s PhD. Work in D.J.O.’s laboratory was partly supported by a Wellcome Trust strategic award to the Centre for Immunity, Infection, and Evolution (WT095831).

Data Availability Statement

All raw unannotated contigs are provided in Supplementary File S1_Data); all alignments are provided in Supplementary Material S2_Data; all large phylogenetic trees from which figures are taken are available in Supplementary Material S3_Data; a table of known Drosophila viruses detected in D. suzukii is available in Supplementary Table S1; a table of PCR primers used for virus detection is in Supplementary Table S2; number of reads mapping to all known drosophila viruses and to novel D. suzukii viruses is in Supplementary Table S3. Coverage depth graphs for novel virus genomes are shown in Supplementary Fig. S1.
All raw reads have been submitted to the NCBI sequence read archive under project accession PRJNA402011 (Japan SRR6019484; France SRR6019487; Kent: SRR6019485, SRR6019486, and SRR6019488). All novel virus genomes are submitted separately to the NCBI sequence read archive under the accessions outlined in Table 1.


  • Drosophila suzukii
  • RNA virus
  • virome
  • metatranscriptomic
  • invasive


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