A ddPCR assay for identification of Autographa gamma (Noctuidae: Plusiinae) in bulk trap samples.
The silver Y moth [Autographa gamma (Linneaus) (Noctuidae: Plusiinae)] is a pervasive crop pest in its native range but has not been found in moth surveys in the United States. Specimens of A. gamma are often intercepted at U.S. ports of entry, so the risk of introduction of this invasive species is high. Currently, identification of Plusiinae adults captured in domestic surveys is done by morphlogical comparison; however, this method is time consuming and misidentifications have occurred in the past. A recent study outlined a real-time PCR assay capable of rapidly identifying individual A. gamma specimens using CO1. This same study provided preliminary data for a droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assay capable of processing bulk trap samples. Here, we develop and test a ddPCR assay for detecting a single A. gamma in a trap sample of 200 individual moths. This assay will drastically reduce the time and cost needed to screen domestic trap samples for A. gamma.