Kostas Bourtzis

Kostas Bourtzis
Joint FAO/IAEA Insect Pest Control Laboratory, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

PhD

About

445
Publications
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Publications

Publications (445)
Article
Full-text available
Availability of polytene chromosomes and development of polytene chromosome maps have greatly facilitated genetic analysis in Diptera and understanding of chromosomal organization. In tephritids, following the first polytene chromosome maps constructed for the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, additional maps have been developed for only...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Anastrepha (Diptera Tephritidae) includes some of the most important fruit fly pests in the Americas. Here, we studied the gut bacterial community of 3rd instar larvae of Anastrepha fraterculus sp. 1 through Next Generation Sequencing (lllumina) of the V3-V4 hypervariable region within the 16S rRNA gene. Gut bacterial communities were com...
Article
Full-text available
The mosquito species Aedes aegypti is the primary transmitter of viruses that cause endemic diseases like dengue in Pakistan. It is also a cause of other vector-borne diseases like yellow fever, Zika fever, and chikungunya, which significantly impact human health worldwide. In the absence of efficient vaccines (except for yellow fever) or drugs, ve...
Article
Full-text available
Aedes aegypti is an invasive mosquito species and major vector of human arboviruses. A wide variety of control methods have been employed to combat mosquito populations. One of them is the sterile insect technique (SIT) that has recently attracted considerable research efforts due to its proven record of success and the absence of harmful environme...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Therefore, tsetse control is considered an effective and sustainable tactic for the control of cyclically transmitted trypanosomosis in the absence of effective vaccines and inexpensive, effective drugs. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is currently used to eliminate tsetse fly populations in an area-wide integrated pest management (AW...
Preprint
Background Tsetse control is considered an effective and sustainable tactic for the control of cyclically transmitted trypanosomosis in the absence of effective vaccines and inexpensive, effective drugs. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is currently used to eliminate tsetse fly populations in an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) conte...
Article
Full-text available
The Spotted-Wing Drosophila fly, Drosophila suzukii, is an invasive pest species infesting major agricultural soft fruits. Drosophila suzukii management is currently based on insecticide applications that bear major concerns regarding their efficiency, safety and environmental sustainability. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an efficient and f...
Article
Full-text available
Although most insect species have a beneficial role in the ecosystems, some of them represent major plant pests and disease vectors for livestock and humans. During the last six–seven decades, the sterile insect technique (SIT) has been used as part of area-wide integrated pest management strategies to suppress, contain, locally eradicate or preven...
Article
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The sterile insect technique (SIT) has been developed as a component of area-wide integrated pest management approaches to control the populations of Aedes albopictus, a mosquito vector capable of transmission of dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses. One of the key factors for the success of SIT is the requirement of high biological quality sterile...
Article
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Tsetse flies are the sole cyclic vector for trypanosomosis, the causative agent for human African trypanosomosis or sleeping sickness and African animal trypanosomosis or nagana. Tsetse population control is the most efficient strategy for animal trypanosomosis control. Among all tsetse control methods, the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is one of...
Article
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Anastrepha ludens (Loew) is one of the most destructive insect pests damaging several fruits of economic importance. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is used under an area-wide integrated pest management approach, to suppress these pest populations. Mass rearing facilities were initially established to produce sterile males of bi-sexual strains i...
Preprint
Aedes aegypti is a major vector of arboviruses that cause dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika. Although recent success in reverse genetics has facilitated rapid progress in basic and applied research, integration of forward genetics with modern technologies remains challenging in this important species, as up-to-47% of its chromosome is refr...
Article
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The Joint FAO/IAEA Centre (formerly called Division) of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture was established in 1964 and its accompanying laboratories in 1961. One of its subprograms deals with insect pest control, and has the mandate to develop and implement the sterile insect technique (SIT) for selected key insect pests, with the goal of r...
Article
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Ceratitis FAR is an African species complex comprising insect pests of great economic interest and obscure species limits. Here, we report the mitochondrial genomes of two members of the FAR complex, namely Ceratitis rosa and the recently characterized Ceratitis quilicii. A phylogenetic analysis based on PCGs of available Tephritidae mitogenomes is...
Article
Full-text available
Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of arthropod-borne viruses including dengue, chikungunya and Zika. Vector population control methods are reviving to impede disease transmission. An efficient sex separation for male-only releases is crucial for area-wide mosquito population suppression strategies. Here, we report on the construction of two genet...
Article
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Mass releases of sterilized male insects, in the frame of sterile insect technique programs, have helped suppress insect pest populations since the 1950s. In the major horticultural pests Bactrocera dorsalis, Ceratitis capitata , and Zeugodacus cucurbitae , a key phenotype white pupae (wp) has been used for decades to selectively remove females bef...
Article
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Abstract: Indoor and outdoor ovitraps were placed in 15 randomly selected houses in two rural villages in Chiapas, southern Mexico. In addition, ovitraps were placed in five transects surrounding each village, with three traps per transect, one at the edge, one at 50 m, and another at 100 m from the edge of the village. All traps were inspected wee...
Article
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Background The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, is a cosmopolitan agricultural pest of worldwide economic importance and a model for the development of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for fruit flies of the Tephritidae family (Diptera). SIT relies on the effective mating of laboratory-reared strains and natural populations, and there...
Article
Full-text available
Background Area-wide integrated pest management programs (AW-IPM) incorporating sterile insect technique (SIT) have been successful in suppressing populations of different fruit fly species during the last six decades. In addition, the development of genetic sexing strains (GSS) for different fruit fly species has allowed for sterile male-only rele...
Article
Full-text available
Background Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of arthropod-borne viruses and one of the most widespread and invasive mosquito species. Due to the lack of efficient specific drugs or vaccination strategies, vector population control methods, such as the sterile insect technique, are receiving renewed interest. However, availability of a reliable ge...
Article
Full-text available
The genetic sexing strain (GSS) of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann)) Vienna 8 D53− is based on a male-linked translocation system and uses two selectable markers for male-only production, the white pupae (wp) and the temperature sensitivity lethal (tsl) genes. In this GSS, males emerge from brown pupae and are resistant t...
Article
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Microbial communities associated to insect species are involved in essential biological functions such as host nutrition, reproduction and survivability. Main factors have been described as modulators of gut bacterial community, such as diet, habit, developmental stage and taxonomy of the host. The present work focuses on the complex changes that g...
Article
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Biological control is widely successful at controlling pests, but effective biocontrol agents are now more difficult to import from countries of origin due to more restrictive international trade laws (the Nagoya Protocol). Coupled with increasing demand, the efficacy of existing and new biocontrol agents needs to be improved with genetic and genom...
Article
Full-text available
The family Tephritidae includes some of the most notorious insect pests of agricultural and horticultural crops in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Despite the interest in the study of their gut microbiome, our present knowledge is largely based on the analysis of laboratory strains. In this study, we present a first comparative analysis of the g...
Article
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Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is the main pest of olive trees (Olea europaea L.), causing major damages in olive crops. Improvement of mass rearing is a prerequisite for the successful development of large‐scale sterile insect technique (SIT) applications. This can be achieved through the enrichment of artificial diets with gut ba...
Preprint
Full-text available
Flooding insect pest populations with huge numbers of sterilized males is an effective mean of biological control as they mate with, but cannot fertilize, wild females. The greatest challenge of the sterile insect technique (SIT) is the removal of unrequired factory reared females prior to sterilization and release. Spontaneous white-pupae ( wp ⁻ )...
Article
Full-text available
Area‐wide integrated pest management (IPM) strategies against tephritid fruit flies include the release of fruit fly parasitic wasps in the target area. Mass rearing of parasitic wasps is essential for the efficient application of biological control strategies. Enhancement of fruit fly host fitness through manipulation of their gut‐associated symbi...
Article
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Insect symbionts are major manipulators of host’s behavior. Their effect on parameters such as fecundity, male mating competitiveness, and biological quality in general, can have a major influence on the effectiveness of the sterile insect technique (SIT). SIT is currently being developed and applied against human disease vectors, including Ae. alb...
Article
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Background: The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is the most important pest in the olive fruit agribusiness industry. This is because female flies lay their eggs in the unripe fruits and upon hatching the larvae feed on the fruits thus destroying them. The lack of a high-quality genome and other genomic and transcriptomic data has hindered progr...
Article
Full-text available
The spotted wing Drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, has recently invaded Europe and the Americas, and it is a major threat for a wide variety of commercial soft fruits both in open field and greenhouse production systems. D. suzukii infests a wide range of ripening fruits, leading to substantial yield and revenue losses. As the application of insectic...
Article
Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae), being the primary vector of pathogenic arboviruses, is a target for the development of novel genetic approaches to complement current conventional vector control strategies such as the combined sterile insect and incompatible insect technique (SIT/IIT). A transinfected line of Ae. aegypti carrying the wAlbB Wo...
Article
Full-text available
Mosquito-borne diseases represent a major threat to humankind. Recently, the incidence of malaria has stopped decreasing while that of dengue is increasing exponentially. Alternative mosquito-control methods are urgently needed. The sterile insect technique (SIT) has seen significant developments recently and may play an important role. However, te...
Chapter
The spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) vinegar fly, Drosophila suzukii, has become a significant global pest of a wide variety of commercial soft fruits. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is a species-specific method of population control that has been successfully used for the suppression or local eradication of several economically important insect p...
Article
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Background: Insect species have established sophisticated symbiotic associations with diverse groups of microorganisms including bacteria which have been shown to affect several aspects of their biology, physiology, ecology and evolution. In addition, recent studies have shown that insect symbionts, including those localized in the gastrointestina...
Article
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Background: Wolbachia, one of the most abundant taxa of intracellular Alphaproteobacteria, is widespread among arthropods and filarial nematodes. The presence of these maternally inherited bacteria is associated with modifications of host fitness, including a variety of reproductive abnormalities, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, thelytokous p...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The interaction between gut bacterial symbionts and Tephritidae became the focus of several studies that showed that bacteria contributed to the nutritional status and the reproductive potential of its fruit fly hosts. Anastrepha fraterculus is an economically important fruit pest in South America. This pest is currently controlled by...
Article
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Background: Various endosymbiotic bacteria, including Wolbachia of the Alphaproteobacteria, infect a wide range of insects and are capable of inducing reproductive abnormalities to their hosts such as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), parthenogenesis, feminization and male-killing. These extended phenotypes can be potentially exploited in enhancin...
Article
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Background: Wolbachia pipientis is a widespread, obligatory intracellular and maternally inherited bacterium, that induces a wide range of reproductive alterations to its hosts. Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI) is causing embryonic lethality, the most common of them. Despite that Wolbachia-borne sterility has been proposed as an environmental frie...
Article
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Background: Enterobacter sp. AA26 was recently isolated from the midgut of Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) and it was shown to have positive effects in rearing efficiency when used as larval probiotics. In this study, biomass production was carried out in bench-scale bioreactors to elucidate the biokinetic properties of Enterobacter sp. AA26 and it...
Article
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Background: Symbiotic bacteria contribute to a multitude of important biological functions such as nutrition and reproduction and affect multiple physiological factors like fitness and longevity in their insect hosts. The melon fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett), is an important agricultural pest that affects a variety of cultivated plants be...
Article
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The South American fruit fly, Anastrepha fraterculus, is clearly undergoing a speciation process. Among others, two of their morphotypes, the Brazilian-1 and Peruvian, have accumulated differences in pre- and post-zygotic mechanisms resulting in a degree of reproductive isolation. Both harbor a different strain of Wolbachia, which is a widespread e...
Article
Full-text available
The spotted wing drosophila, D. suzukii, is a serious agricultural pest attacking a variety of soft fruits and vegetables. Although originating from East Asia it has recently invaded America and Europe raising major concern about its expansion potential and the consequent economic losses. Since cytogenetic information on the species is scarce, we r...
Article
Full-text available
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) techniques are of great value for the investigation of microbial communities, and have been extensively used to study the gut microbiome. While most studies focus on the human gut, many others have investigated insects. However, because of the rapid spread of HTS techniques, a lot of variation exists in the protocol...
Article
Full-text available
Bactrocera carambolae is one of the approximately 100 sibling species of the Bactrocera dorsalis complex and considered to be very closely related to B. dorsalis. Due to their high morphological similarity and overlapping distribution, as well as to their economic impact and quarantine status, the development of reliable markers for species delimit...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biological control is widely successful for controlling pests, but effective biocontrol agents are now more difficult to obtain due to more restrictive international trade laws. Coupled with increasing demand, the efficacy of existing and new biocontrol agents needs to be improved with genetic and genomic approaches. Although they have been underut...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Wolbachia, one of the most abundant taxa of intracellular Alphaproteobacteria, is widespread among arthropods and filarial nematodes. The presence of these maternally inherited bacteria is associated with modifications of host fitness, including a variety of reproductive abnormalities, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, thelytokous pa...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Tsetse flies (Glossina sp.) are the vectors of human and animal trypanosomiasis throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Tsetse flies are distinguished from other Diptera by unique adaptations, including lactation and the birthing of live young (obligate viviparity), a vertebrate blood-specific diet by both sexes, and obligate bacterial symbiosi...
Article
In insects, rapidly evolving primary sex-determining signals are transduced by a conserved regulatory module controlling sexual differentiation. In the agricultural pest Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly, Medfly) we identified a Y-linked gene, Maleness-on the-Y ( MoY ), encoding a small protein that is necessary and sufficient for male de...
Article
Full-text available
Insect-symbiont interactions are receiving much attention in the last years. Symbiotic communities have been found to influence a variety of parameters regarding their host physiology and fitness. Gut symbiotic communities can be dynamic, changing through time and developmental stage. Whether these changes represent real differential needs and pref...