Expanding the Medfly Virome : Viral Diversity, Prevalence, and sRNA Profiling in Mass-Reared and Field-Derived Medflies

Hernández-Pelegrín, Luis; Llopis-Giménez, Ángel; Crava, Cristina Maria; Ortego, Félix; Hernández-Crespo, Pedro; Ros, Vera I.D.; Herrero, Salvador


The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata, is an agricultural pest of a wide range of fruits. The advent of high-throughput sequencing has boosted the discovery of RNA viruses infecting insects. In this article, we aim to characterize the RNA virome and viral sRNA profile of medfly. By means of transcriptome mining, we expanded the medfly RNA virome to 13 viruses, including two novel positive ssRNA viruses and the first two novel dsRNA viruses reported for medfly. Our analysis across multiple laboratory-reared and field-collected medfly samples showed the presence of a core RNA virome comprised of Ceratitis capitata iflavirus 2 and Ceratitis capitata negev-like virus 1. Furthermore, field-collected flies showed a higher viral diversity in comparison to the laboratory-reared flies. Based on the small RNA sequencing, we detected small interfering RNAs mapping to all the viruses present in each sample, except for Ceratitis capitata nora virus. Although the identified RNA viruses do not cause obvious symptoms in medflies, the outcome of their interaction may still influence the medfly’s fitness and ecology, becoming either a risk or an opportunity for mass-rearing and SIT applications.