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eDNA metabarcoding of avocado flowers: ‘Hass’ it got potential to survey arthropods in food production systems?
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  • Joshua Kestel,
  • Phil Bateman ,
  • David Field,
  • Nicole White,
  • Rosemarie Lines,
  • Paul Nevill
Joshua Kestel
Curtin University - Perth Bentley Campus

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Phil Bateman
Curtin University - Perth Bentley Campus
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David Field
Edith Cowan University
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Nicole White
Curtin University - Perth Bentley Campus
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Rosemarie Lines
Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
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Paul Nevill
Curtin University Bentley Campus
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In the face of global biodiversity declines, surveys of beneficial and antagonistic arthropod diversity as well as the ecological services that they provide are increasingly important in both natural and agro-ecosystems. Conventional survey methods used to monitor these communities often require extensive taxonomic expertise and are time-intensive, potentially limiting their application in industries such as agriculture, where arthropods often play a critical role in productivity (e.g. pollinators, pests and predators). Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding of a novel substrate, crop flowers, may offer an accurate and high throughput alternative to aid in the detection managed and unmanaged arthropod taxa (e.g. flower-visiting insects and potential pollinators). Here, we compared the arthropod communities detected with eDNA metabarcoding of flowers, from an agricultural species (Persea americana - ‘Hass’ avocado), with two conventional survey techniques; Digital Video Recording (DVR) devices and pan traps. In total, 80 eDNA flower samples, 96 hours of DVRs and 48 pan trap samples were collected. Across the three methods, 49 arthropod families were identified, of which 12 were unique to the eDNA dataset. Alpha diversity levels did not differ across the three survey methods although taxonomic composition varied significantly, with only 12% of arthropod families found to be common across all three methods. This study demonstrates that eDNA metabarcoding of flowers to detect visiting arthropods, although in a developmental stage, can complement traditional survey methods and increase the diversity of taxa detected with implications for both natural and agro-ecosystems.
14 Dec 2022Submitted to Molecular Ecology Resources
20 Dec 2022Submission Checks Completed
20 Dec 2022Assigned to Editor
20 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Jan 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
24 Mar 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
04 Apr 20231st Revision Received
06 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
06 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
06 Apr 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Apr 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
20 Apr 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
26 Apr 20232nd Revision Received
27 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
27 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
27 Apr 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
27 Apr 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
12 May 2023Editorial Decision: Accept