• DOI: 10.1300/J091v19n01_14
  • Corpus ID: 83414138

Illegal Logging and Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

  • Pankaj Sekhsaria
  • Published 8 November 2004
  • Environmental Science, Law
  • Journal of Sustainable Forestry

7 Citations

Deciduous forests hold conservation value for birds within south andaman island, india, tribal reserves, ibas, and bird conservation: the unique case of the andaman & nicobar islands, varying impacts of logging frequency on tree communities and carbon storage across evergreen and deciduous tropical forests in the andaman islands, india, ‘the green sleuth’: an analysis of the environmentalism in the selected detective fictions of sunil gangopadhyay, interventions: theory and practice illegal actions and the forest sector: a legal perspective, taking stock of selective logging in the andaman islands, india: recent & legacy effects of timber extraction, assisted natural regeneration and a revamped working plan.

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40 references, sustainable management, sustainable management of protected areas in the andaman and nicobar islands..

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Above the Forest: A Study of Andamanese Ethnoanemology, Cosmology, and the Power of Ritual

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Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar

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2001, Economic and Political Weekly

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case study on deforestation in andaman and nicobar islands

Pankaj Sekhsaria

INDIAN Birds, Vol. 8, No. 4

Aju Mukhopadhyay

Abstract The tribes came to live in Andaman and Nicobar islands some 70000 or more years ago. They possess unique fragments of DNA which show that they remained in isolation from the entire world for at least 20000 years. With short stature, very dark complexion and peppercorn curly hair, they are grouped as Negritos of Africa or are called the Stone Age inhabitants, related to African Pygmies. While Great Andamanese, Onge, Sentinelese and Jarawa are claimed to belong to Negrito origin Nicobarese and Shompen are of Mongoloid origin. Contrary to popular belief that humans originated from the African continent, a recent study suggests that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the South Asian Islands witnessed the genesis of mankind for in situ development of the tribes there, isolated and separated from Africa.

Philipp Zehmisch

'To work with an axe is a pure pleasure for a Ranchi.' Marking a century of oppression, this local proverb vividly portrays the entangled history of contract labour migration and the colonization of space in the Andaman Islands from 1918 onwards. This chapter explores how the contracting of the Ranchis, Adivasi labourers from Ranchi (Chotanagpur), as successors to colonial convicts in the task of forest clearance and infrastructure development has conditioned their marginalised position in the Andaman society. Since the advent of their migration a century ago, racial stereotypes attached to their ‘aboriginality’ have accompanied the Ranchis to the islands. Having been continuously exploited and discriminated against as ‘tribals’ by decision-makers and members of the Andaman society, the Ranchis remained, as a result, alienated from the lines of social mobility. Going beyond a historical analysis of exploitation, however, the chapter proposes to view their migration as a process that unleashed various forms of subaltern resistance. I so doing it dwells on a subaltern perspective highlighting the Ranchis as silenced agents or "architects" of the Andamans, whose contributions to the development of the island infrastructure needs to be publicly acknowledged. Keywords: Adivasis, Ranchis, Chotanagpur, Andaman Islands, Contract Labour, Aboriginality, Stereotypes, Race, Social Inequality, Agency, Voice

Manish M Chandi

Economic and Political Weekly

Sahir Advani

Senthilkumar Umapathy , Ritesh Choudhary , D. Narasimhan , Ravikanth G

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Mongabay Series: India's Iconic Landscapes

Andaman forests need longer intervals between repeat logging for recovery: study

  • In the Andaman archipelago where selective logging is practised by the forest department, an interval of 10-25 years between logging events is not sufficient for the forests, especially deciduous forests, to recover from the first logging cycle, a study has said.
  • The study finds that evergreen forests are quite resilient to logging compared to deciduous forests; deciduous patches, when logged twice, had less than half the carbon of intact deciduous forest.
  • The evidence of logging-induced deciduousness in the forests of Andamans, even with the current selective-felling practice, is a ‘matter of concern’ for the forest structure of the fragile islands.

To the untrained eye discerning between evergreen and deciduous tree mosaics of the Andaman archipelago can be tough in the wet season but the patches clearly stand out in the dry season in the volcanic ridge-arc islands. In the dry season between January and April, deciduous forests lose leaves and it is easy to distinguish the leafless patches from the evergreen areas that are dark green.

Forests on these islands − that share a majority of their flora and fauna with South-West Myanmar and Western Thailand − have a long history of human use going back to 20,000 years. Most of the forests have had a tryst with logging-associated disturbances starting in the 1800s with British rule in India. At present, selective logging in the Andaman Islands is practised only by the forest department.

Unlike clearing of forest, selective logging involves removing a few important timber trees such that diversity is retained and carbon recovers quickly, explained Akshay Surendra who set out to study the sustainability of the logging exercise, by sampling tree communities that were subjected to different logging treatments across deciduous and evergreen forests.

Akshay’s goal was to understand if and how often one can go back to these forests to log for a second or third time, while still maintaining the integrity of the forest. The current working plan, set up in 2005, is planned at a 30-year cutting cycle: the same patch of forest is logged once every 30 years. The current plan focuses explicitly on diversity and caps logging intensity at up to three trees per hectare. 

The authors say that regardless of the nature of logging, an interval of 10–25 years between logging events is not sufficient for forests in the Andaman Islands, especially deciduous forests, to recover from the first logging cycle. Deciduous forests may potentially require more strict extraction limits compared to evergreen counterparts, they note in a study published this year.

“We found that evergreen forests are quite resilient to logging compared to deciduous forests: deciduous patches, when logged twice, had less than half the carbon of intact deciduous forest. But this doesn’t mean go ahead and log evergreen patches more! All it means that the current logging is tentatively okay,” said the study’s corresponding author Akshay. He conducted the study while doing his Master’s in Wildlife Biology and Conservation Program, National Centre for Biological Science, Bengaluru, India. He is currently a doctoral student based at the School of the Environment, Yale University, USA.

The study was conducted in the Andaman Islands, India (A, B). The scientists placed plots in the central archipelago, on near-contiguous islands in Middle Andaman and Baratang forest division (C: map prepared using National Remote Sensing Centre's (NRSC) Bhuvan Land-use land-cover data, 2015).Each plot (D) consisted of two nested plots that began at a logging stump and was aligned in the direction of treefall. Within each sub-plot, stems above plot-specific girth cut-offs were identified and measured. Photo from Surendra et. al.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands comprise 572 islands with a total geographical area of about 8,249 square kilometres, 0.25 percent of the total geographical area of India. Of the 8,249 sq. km, over 80 percent of the land (6,742.78 sq. km.) is recorded as forest land, which includes nine national parks, 96 wildlife sanctuaries and one biosphere reserve. The India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019 states that the forestry practices in these islands have “undergone significant changes in the last more than 125 years of scientific forestry, influenced by major policy changes and socioeconomic situations. The current focus of forest management in the islands is towards biodiversity conservation along with sustainable use of forest produce for local inhabitants, to protect the environment for future generations.”

Compared to the ISFR 2017, the forest cover in the region has increased by 0.78 sq. km. while the mangrove cover has decreased by one square kilometre. Experts have reiterated concerns over an increase in the anthropogenic activities in the region and their impact.

Akshay and colleagues at NCBS examined responses of canopy cover, stem density, tree diversity, deciduous fraction and above-ground carbon, to logging frequency (baseline, once-logged and twice-logged) and asked how these responses differed across evergreen and deciduous patches. The Andaman forests are either dipterocarps-dominated evergreen types or are deciduous in nature, dominated by one species, the commercially important Andaman padauk ( Pterocarpus dalbergioides ).

For the study, worked forests were grouped into three categories – recent once-logged forests that were logged between 2007 and 2014, recent twice-logged forests that were harvested between 2007 and 2014 but also in the early 1990s; and baseline forests, forests that have not been cut since at least the early 1990s – most of these patches have no record of logging since 1960. 

The study was conducted between December 2017 and May 2018 in Baratang and Middle Andaman Forest Divisions of central Andaman Islands. Researchers used GPS-based maps from post-2005 Working Plans and hand-drawn maps from pre-2005 Working Plans created by the Department of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Andaman and Nicobar Administration to delineate logging treatment.

The research reveals that under the selective logging regimes followed in the Andaman Islands, once-logged forests were largely comparable to baseline forests in both evergreen and deciduous forest types. However, twice-logged evergreen forests had 22-24 percent lower adult tree density and diversity compared to the baseline evergreen forests and twice-logged deciduous forests had 17-50 percent lower canopy cover, pole density, adult species diversity and above-ground carbon stocks.

Concerns over logging-induced deciduousness 

The researchers consistently detected a small but significant increase in the representation of deciduous species in the adult tree community of all logged forests, except twice-logged evergreen forests; M. Rajkumar, a scientist at the Tropical Forest Research Institute (TFRI) in Jabalpur, who was not involved in the study, described this logging-induced deciduousness as a “matter of concern.”

“Although the interval between logging events considered in this study is short − 10 to 25 years − it gives sufficient indication and evidence that the logging-induced deciduousness in the forests of Andamans, even with the current selective-felling practice, is a matter of concern. It is a matter of concern because the increase in representation of deciduous species in the adult tree communities of both deciduous and evergreen forests under any logging condition will lead to further degradation and change in structure and function of this fragile island ecosystem,” Rajkumar told Mongabay-India.

Sampling in a deciduous patch with Jagadish Mondol and Aadhir Sammader. Photo by Akshay Surendra.

“The study opens new avenues for addressing species-specific research questions on soil-related water stress, especially in evergreen species. This is important because the evergreen mixed Dipterocarp forests support a substantial portion of the island’s biodiversity and ecosystem services,” Rajkumar adds.

The authors recommend reducing logging frequency and tailoring limits by forest type to improve recovery. Akshay draws attention to maintaining low logging intensities (less than three trees/ha) and incorporating improved logging practices like reduced-impact logging (RIL) to counter the detrimental effects of selective logging on the Andaman forests. RIL is a way to maintain timber production while minimising forest damage.

“Although it (RIL) has a number of best practices, the common sense part of it is straightforward: just remove fewer trees, give large gaps in time between logging events, reduce the damage when you remove those trees and try to bring back sensitive but functionally important species through active planting or restoration,” he explained. All these measures are being practised by the forest department in the Andamans, except the time-gap, but that’s because of a change in policy, he points out.

A new selective logging plan was put into practice in 2005, prompted by citizen activists who successfully petitioned the Supreme Court of India demanding a change in logging policies. There has been an official ban on any future logging in previously unlogged areas, while restricted low-intensity logging is practised in previously logged areas. 

“In 2005, there was a clean-slate and redrawing of logging areas (called coupes). That was done irrespective of the logging history, so while some patches were being logged for the first time since independence, others were being logged in areas that were already logged before the new policy. This is a lose-lose scenario – timber yield is low and forest recovery is arrested. This problem will stop in the second cycle, but it’s best to correct it now,” Akshay notes, adding that it needs very small interventions by the forest department.

“The time gap between logging events can be extended by logging later in time, ensuring that  “coupes” that were logged just before the new working plan are logged later in the current plan, so they get more time to recover,” added Akshay.

TFRI’s Rajkumar says findings of this study, particularly that (a) logging intensities and interval cause varying impacts among forest types, and (b) detrimental effect of selective felling could be further reduced by practising  ‘reduced-impact logging’ need to be suitably incorporated in the Forest Working Plans of Andamans Islands. “Given the fact that there is hardly any spatial distinction in the occurrence of deciduous and evergreen patches in the Andaman Islands, this is going to be challenging,” he notes.

Illustrating with Karnataka as an example, T.V. Ramachandra, at Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, however, said, non-logging in the natural forests is the best option than selective logging. “Selective logging is being practised by the forest department in Karnataka (Western Ghats region), which has led to the removal of natural vegetation, replacing the same with the monoculture timber species (teak etc. in Uttara Kannada) which has escalated human-animal conflicts as animals were deprived of fodder and water. Hence no logging in natural forests is the prudent management option than selective logging,” Ramachandra, who was not associated with the study, told Mongabay-India.

Banner image: Evergreen, deciduous forest patches and mangroves in the Andamans. Photo by Akshay Surendra.

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case study on deforestation in andaman and nicobar islands

Indigenous Forest Management In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

  • © 2018
  • Kavita Arora 0

University of Delhi, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Delhi, India

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  • Compares indigenous knowledge with the modern scientific forest management system
  • Maximizes readers insights into the tribes that inhabit these areas
  • Critically examines how far the existing regime of intellectual property rights is capable of safeguarding the rights of indigenous people and their knowledge

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About this book

This book offers an extensive study of indigenous communities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India, and their methods of forest conservation, along with an exploration of the impact of forestry operations in the islands and the wide scale damage they have incurred on both the land and the people. Through an in-depth analysis of the contrasting indigenous practices and governmental forestry schemes, the author has compared the modern ‘Joint Forest Management’ resolution with the ethos and practices of the indigenous people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Throughout the book, readers will learn about the different indigenous communities inhabiting these islands and the treasure of knowledge each of them provide on forest conservation. 

The book establishes that the notion of knowledge is politicized by the dominant culture in the context of Andaman’s forest tribes, and traces how this denial of the existence of indigenous knowledge by government officialshas led to reduced forest area in the region. The book also explores and analyses strategies to utilize and conserve the tribes' profound knowledge of the biodiversity of the islands and study their efforts towards forest conservation, protection and rejuvenation.

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Table of contents (7 chapters)

Front matter, introduction.

Kavita Arora

Forest Management by Andamanese Tribes

The nicobarese tribes and their knowledge, notes from the field, indian forest administration and people participation in forest management, indigenous knowledge and intellectual property right: a discussion in the context of andaman tribes, back matter, authors and affiliations, about the author, bibliographic information.

Book Title : Indigenous Forest Management In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

Authors : Kavita Arora

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00033-2

Publisher : Springer Cham

eBook Packages : Biomedical and Life Sciences , Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

Copyright Information : Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Hardcover ISBN : 978-3-030-00032-5 Published: 16 November 2018

eBook ISBN : 978-3-030-00033-2 Published: 07 November 2018

Edition Number : 1

Number of Pages : XIII, 222

Number of Illustrations : 1 b/w illustrations, 22 illustrations in colour

Topics : Forestry Management , Cultural Anthropology , Biodiversity , Environmental Management , Environmental Law/Policy/Ecojustice , Environmental Geography

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if(!window.DSpace){window.DSpace={}}; if(!window.DSpace.metadata){window.DSpace.metadata={}}; window.DSpace.metadata.dc_title='Report on Land Use in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands'; Report on Land Use in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

dc.contributorEcosystems Divisionen_US
dc.contributor.authorUnited Nations Environment Programmeen_US
dc.contributor.otherInternational Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)en_US
dc.contributor.otherMcVean, D.N.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2019-09-12T19:11:14Z
dc.date.available2019-09-12T19:11:14Z
dc.date.issued1976
dc.identifier.urihttps://wedocs.unep.org/20.500.11822/29905
dc.descriptionThis report is required to evaluate tie impact of deforestation on the general environment of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and to formulate guidelines for land use and conservation there. In broad outline these are the terms of reference that were presented in greater detail to the Multidisciplinary Team of 1975 (ref.l).en_US
dc.formatTexten_US
dc.languageEnglishen_US
dc.rightsPublicen_US
dc.subjectLANDen_US
dc.subjectENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENTen_US
dc.subjectDEFORESTATIONen_US
dc.subjectAGRICULTUREen_US
dc.subjectMARINE ENVIRONMENTen_US
dc.subjectLAND USEen_US
dc.titleReport on Land Use in the Andaman and Nicobar Islandsen_US
wd.identifier.sdgSDG 15 - Life on Landen_US
wd.tagsLanden_US
wd.topicsNature Actionen_US
wd.identifier.pagesnumber33 pagesen_US

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How the loss of a tropical forest in Nicobar could end up funding a jungle safari in Haryana

Both the legality and the ecological impact of the move are being questioned by environmentalists.

How the loss of a tropical forest in Nicobar could end up funding a jungle safari in Haryana

Weeks before India’s environment ministry gave permission for 130 sq km of tropical forests to be cleared to make way for development projects on the Great Nicobar Island in the Indian Ocean, the chief minister of Haryana, a landlocked state 2,400 km away, was already announcing plans for how the money raised from the deforestation would be used.

Speaking to reporters on October 6, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the funds would be used to build “the world’s largest curated safari”. Ten thousand acres of land, not too far from the national capital, had already been identified for the project, he said: “6,000 acres from Gurguram district and 4,000 from Nuh.”

The safari would feature ten zones, one each for reptiles, birds, underwater species, exotic animals, a nature trail, and a botanical garden. Along with tigers, lions and panthers, it would also house cheetahs, the chief minister said, adding that efforts were underway to source the world’s fastest animals.

The press conference was held weeks after the Prime Minister had released cheetahs from Namibia in a national park in Madhya Pradesh, and days after Khattar had returned from a trip to the Sharjah Safari Park in the United Arab Emirates with India’s environment minister Bhupender Yadav. Khattar, in fact, first announced the state’s plans to build a jungle safari the day he visited Sharjah.

आज दुबई के शारजाह जंगल सफारी का दौरा किया, इसी की तर्ज पर हम गुरुग्राम व नूंह के 10 हजार एकड़ में विश्व का सबसे बड़ा सफारी पार्क स्थापित करने जा रहे हैं। पार्क से लोगों को रोजगार, अरावली पर्वत श्रृंखला का सरंक्षण व नजदीकी गांवों को होम स्टे पॉलिसी का लाभ मिलेगा। pic.twitter.com/4oNHUu4snm — Manohar Lal (@mlkhattar) September 29, 2022

In the press conference, Khattar said the plans for the jungle safari had been drawn up in consultation with Yadav. The Centre, he claimed, had asked Haryana if it would be willing to “develop a forest area” to compensate for the loss of forests in Nicobar. It is through the funds that Haryana will receive from “CAMPA” – the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority – that “this large-scale safari will be made operational,” Khattar said.

A contentious proposal

India’s forest conservation law mandates that whenever forests are cleared for developmental or industrial projects, trees must be planted over an equal area of non-forest land to compensate for the ecological loss. The agency responsible for the deforestation must transfer funds to a government authority, which in turn redirects them to the agency planting the trees. This process is called “compensatory afforestation”, even though environmentalists point out that plantations can never compensate for the loss of natural forests.

The proposal to create a jungle safari in Haryana using compensatory afforestation funds raised in Nicobar is being seen as especially contentious.

To start with, the two territories lie 2,400 km apart, in completely different climatic zones. Although there is no legal bar on compensatory afforestation funds raised in one state being used in another, experts point out that the geographic isolation of the Nicobar Islands has endowed them with a unique biodiversity – of about 2,200 varieties of plants recorded in the Islands, 200 are rare native species, and 1,300 do not occur in mainland India.

case study on deforestation in andaman and nicobar islands

“This proposal for compensatory afforestation in Haryana in lieu of this ecological and social loss in the Islands is devoid of any logic,” said Tushar Dash, a forest rights researcher.

Further, government agencies are legally bound to seek approval from the environment ministry for both tree-felling and compensatory afforestation plans.

At the time when Khattar made the announcement of the jungle safari, the Nicobar deforestation itself was awaiting approval. While the approval was granted twenty days later, on October 27, Haryana is yet to submit a detailed project report for the jungle safari, a state official confirmed.

More significantly, the Rules specifically prohibit the creation of jungle safaris using one of the two components of the compensatory afforestation funds. While one component of the funds is meant to compensate for the loss of trees, the other component, called the net present value or NPV receipts, is supposed to compensate for the loss of other environmental services rendered by the forest, like groundwater recharge and biodiversity.

The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Rules, 2018 , provide a clear list of activities to which NPV funds can be allocated, and what they cannot be used for. “Establishment, expansion and up-gradation of zoo and wildlife safari” features in the latter list.

An ambiguous response

When asked about the legality of using Net Present Value funds for a jungle safari, Vivek Saxena, the chief executive officer of Haryana’s Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, said: “If Rules do not allow this transfer of funds for the safari, then we will not do it.”

He evaded response to a question about whether, in the absence of NPV funds, the remaining compensatory afforestation funds would be adequate for the safari.

“Currently, the jungle safari is in the planning stages,” Saxena said. “Only after the detailed project report is prepared and the site-specific plans are approved will we go ahead.”

Monetising ecology

While Haryana officials remain guarded about the specifics of the jungle safari project, environmentalists say it is an example of how India’s compensatory afforestation policies are far removed from serving ecological needs and are instead enabling states to harness forests for financial gains.

“The recent use of compensatory afforestation in Haryana for the Nicobar project does two things,” said Kanchi Kohli, senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Research. “It justifies the loss of biodiverse landscapes like the Nicobars, and also accommodates the aspirations of states like Haryana to convert land into plantations or recreational tourism such as safari parks.”

Kohli said both the deforestation in Nicobar and the recreational tourism in Haryana were attempts to monetise forests, “instead of compensating for ecological loss”.

Environmental researchers also question the viability of creating large-scale plantation projects in the Aravalli hills of Haryana, a region with dry soil and shorter rain spells. Manju Menon, a senior fellow with CPR, said, that a well planned soil and water conservation programme, with adequate deployment of staff and resources, would be required to make compensatory afforestation in the Aravallis work. “The question is whether such resources can be made available over the long term and if this land use is the most appropriate given all other competing demands,” she said.

Haryana has a poor track record of compensatory afforestation. According to the State of Forest reports, Haryana’s total forest cover had remained steady over the past decade and half. It was 1,604 sq km in 2005, and 1,603 sq km in 2021.

This even came up in a meeting of the state’s compensatory afforestation authority in April 2022. The state’s additional chief secretary for science and technology, Ashok Khemka remarked that “despite large scale forest plantations in Haryana, the forest cover over the last two decades is flat…with no increase.”

Khemka recommended that the state forest department “review its modus operandi before infusing large scale funds in business-as-usual planting.”

Government data shows only six or seven out of ten saplings planted along Haryana’s roads for compensatory afforestation projects survive. This survival rate is one of the worst in the country, according to data provided by the environment ministry in Rajya Sabha in March 2021.

The survival rate of saplings in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands isn’t much better. But the union territory is one of the greenest parts of India, and more importantly, features biodiversity not found on the mainland.

While granting approval for the clearing of 130.75 sq km of forest land in Great Nicobar – about a third of the island’s area – the Union environment ministry’s Forest Advisory Committee said it was needed for “sustainable development”. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration aims to build Rs 75,000-crore worth projects – an International Container Transhipment Terminal, an airport, a power plant, and a new township – on the cleared land.

Manish Chandi, a research scholar who specialises on the interface of communities and natural environment in Nicobar Islands, said development is needed on the island. “Currently, the educational and medical facilities are dismal, and employment opportunities are few,” he said.

But he questioned the economic and ecological viability of the projects planned by the administration and pointed out that the island’s indigenous communities had not been consulted. “This Mega Development Project is not the kind of development needed,” he said.

  • Great Nicobar Island
  • Haryana jungle safari
  • Compensatory Afforestation
  • Introduction

The Islands and the Anthropologist

  • Tsunami and First Response
  • Second Tsunami
  • In Search of Axes
  • Steering a Sustainable Course
  • Steering Committee
  • Exchange Visit
  • Nirnay Means Decision
  • Up and Running
  • Caritas Leans In
  • Singh Sounds a Warning
  • Midcourse Correction
  • The SOPHIA Experiment
  • Taking Stock
  • SOPHIA Reports
  • Download this case as a PDF

The Andaman and Nicobar archipelago lay 1,300 kilometers (about 800 miles) east of India between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. It comprised more than 500 tropical islands and rocky uplifts, all claimed by India. Of these, 24 islands made up the Nicobars, and of these 12 were inhabited. About a third of the islands’ population were Indian traders, immigrant laborers, and workers at the islands’ several military installations. The rest were an indigenous people called Nicobarese, who numbered about 27,000 before the tsunami. [1]

The Nicobarese were one of six “scheduled tribes” in the islands specifically protected under India’s 1956 Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulation Act because of the vulnerability of their traditional culture. Under the terms of the act, access to the Nicobar Islands was strictly limited and all dealings with the tribes—whether for trade, social services, aid, or scientific purposes—were mediated by the Indian government, which had its administrative offices in the territorial capital of Port Blair, on South Andaman Island.

The Nicobarese were not Stone Age people. They had had contact with passing ships for 1,300 years and sporadic engagement with a succession of colonial administrations. Before the tsunami, they were aware of the outside world and had become partially assimilated. They had some electricity. Their children went to government primary schools. Some wore eyeglasses and rode bicycles. Most called themselves Christians, a handful Muslims. But these were modern accretions thinly layered over an ancient island culture with roots in the Malay-Burmese cultural complex. [2]

Traditional Nicobarese culture was inextricably tied to the island ecosystem. The Nicobarese fished, grew coconuts, and raised pigs and chickens. They planted small gardens of bananas and yams. They lived in coastal villages and built their canoes and thatched houses from materials found along the coast and in the interior rainforest. When cash was needed, to buy rice or kerosene for example, the Nicobarese sold dried coconut, called copra, to the immigrant traders.

Traditional Nicobarese life, narrated by Simron Singh. © Aftermath-The Second Flood, Golden Girls Filmproduktion, 2014

It was estimated that in the traditional economy, the Nicobarese worked about an hour a day in productive activity. [3] They put their energy into social relations, artwork, festivals, contests, and ritual expressions that honored their ancestors and the islands’ spirits. Outside the Nicobars, the people were perhaps best known for their hentakoi and kareau , painted effigies of people, animals, and spirits that guarded their homes and their ancestors’ bones. The Nicobarese lived in what was widely said to be a tropical paradise. As late as 1998, a visiting scholar was able to say: “As yet there are no signs of any serious conflict within their society between ordinary people and ‘modernists.’” [4]

Ceremonial life in the Nicobars, narrated by Simron Singh. © Aftermath-The Second Flood, Golden Girls Filmproduktion, 2014

Emotional scientist. In 1999, the Nicobars attracted the interest of a young Indian social scientist, Simron Singh. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature at the University of Delhi, Singh turned to anthropology. A self-described “misfit” and “black sheep” of a Sikh manufacturing family, Singh had a romantic disposition and sympathy for marginalized peoples.

In 1995, these inclinations took Singh to Dehradun, India, in the Himalayas, where he became involved with the Gandhi social justice movement and worked for an NGO that supported the rights of a group of forest nomads who herded water buffalos. The association ended badly. As the nomads’ cause became wildly popular in India, Singh believed that the NGO grew corrupt. Outraged and disheartened, Singh headed for the most unspoiled place he could find: the Nicobars, where he conducted research under a grant from India’s Ministry of Human ResearchDevelopment, Department of Culture. The job came with permission to live in the restricted islands.

Singh spent five years in the Nicobars doing field research for his doctorate, which was awarded by the University of Lund (Sweden) in 2003. During that time, he joined the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna as a research associate. His work with isolated hunters and gatherers was valuable to the institute and its director, Marina Fischer-Kowalski, who studied interactions between societies and their environments, especially in times of environmental stress and social change. [5]

case study on deforestation in andaman and nicobar islands

© Simron Singh Village before the tsunami

Though still a young scientist, Singh was respected for his empirical work and empathetic engagement with his research subjects. He forged close personal relationships with many of the Nicobars’ most influential leaders, including elders like Jonathan, a traditionalist chief, and younger leaders like Prince Rasheed Yusuf, a member of the highest-ranking clan, who had been educated in India and had modernist dreams for his people. Singh even arranged for Rasheed to visit Vienna in 2003. Singh also worked closely with the Nicobarese Tribal Council and its operational wing, the Nicobarese Youth Association, and understood island administration well.

Singh cared deeply about the future of the islands and its peoples. According to Denis Giles, the editor of a newspaper in Port Blair who sometimes served as his research assistant, Singh was a complicated figure: a populist, a dreamer, a moralist, a scrupulous chronicler, a fiercely loyal friend -- “an emotional scientist.” [6]

[1] Venkat Ramanujam Ramani, “Gifts Without Dignity? Gift-Giving, Reciprocity and the Tsunami Response in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India,“ dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Environment, Society and Development, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, 2010, p.3., citing 2001 Indian census figure of 26,565.

[2] The definitive sources for pre-tsunami Nicobarese culture are Simron Jit Singh, In the Sea of Influence: A World System Perspective of the Nicobar Islands, Lund Studies in Human Ecology 6 (Lund: Lund University), 2003 and Simron Jit Singh, The Nicobar Islands: Cultural Choices in the Aftermath of the Tsunami (Vienna: Oliver Lehmann and Czernin Verlag), 2006.

[3] Lisa Ringhofer, Simron Jit Singh, and Marina Fischer-Kowalski, “Beyond Boserup: The Role of Human Time in Agricultural Development,” in Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Anette Reenberg, Anke Schaffartzik, and Andreas Mayer, eds., Ester Boserup’s Legacy on Sustainability: Orientations for Contemporary Research , Human-Environment Interactions Series, Vol. 4(Berlin: Springer), 2014.

[4] T. N. Pandit, “Ecology, Culture, History and World-View: The Andaman and Nicobar Islanders,” in The Cultural Dimension of Ecology, The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts: New Delhi, 1998. See: http://ignca.nic.in/cd_07016.htm

[5] Kirsten Lundberg interview with Simron Jit Singh on December 5, 2013, in Waterloo, Ontario. All quoted material for Singh, unless otherwise attributed, is from that interview.

[6] Raphael Barth, director, Aftermath—The Second Flood , Golden Girls Filmproduktion, 2014.

Video - http://www.aftermath-thesecondflood.net/

Biographies

  • Simron Singh
  • Marina Fischer-Kowalski
  • Georg Matuschkowitz
  • Celeste Angus

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Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar: its impact on Onge

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case study on deforestation in andaman and nicobar islands

  • Geospatial Technology Applications in Agriculture
  • Crop estimation
  • Geospatial Applications

Analysis of Land use, Crop Productivity in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

S Senani Sr Scientist Central Agricultural Research Institute, India Email: [email protected]

Abstract Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands are situated in the Bay of Bengal spreading in an arch from North to South. The 572 scattered islands are located between 6045′-130 41’N latitude, 92012′, and 93057’E longitude, occupying an area of 8249 km2 . A 1:250000 scale map of Andaman and Nicobar islands was used for digitization. The map was grided in the lat- long having four coordinates 92:00:00, 14:00:00, and 94:00:00, 14:00:00, and 92:00:00, 7:00:00, and 94:00:00, 7:00:00. Four extremities of lat long were used as reference points for map registration and digitization of island boundaries and areas. All the 36 inhabited islands were digitized and their area was analyzed and edited for discrepancies. The total area of Islands is 8249 sq. kms distributed in Andaman (6340 sq. kms) and Nicobar group (1841 sq. kms). Out of a total geographical area of 640800 ha about 59766 ha has so far been cleared of forests for agriculture, plantations and other allied purposes (Anonymous 1997).

This constitutes hardly 9.33 % of the total geographical area of the Islands for agriculture and other activities against the hitherto belief that eighty six percent of the total geographical area is under forest and rest is available for human use including agriculture. Out of this 12000 ha is under rice cultivation, 28267 ha under plantation crops including coconut, areca nut, rubber and about 10000 ha is available as waste/ fallow land. Major land use in the islands is forest which range between 19.83 to 100 percent. Car Nicobar island has 19.83 % area and Narcondum, North Sentinel, Strait island, Peel island, Flat bay, Stewart island, John Lawrence, Aves, East and Interview island have 100% area under forest. On the other hand, cultivable area ranges from 0-80.16%. North Andaman, Car Nicobar and Katchal have over 40.05 % area under crops and rests of the islands have cultivable area between 0-19 percent. Out of 36 in habited islands 11 islands have no cultivable land and 14 have less than 10 percent area under cultivation.

As such there is no land earmarked for fodder production. Yet livestock largely thrive on grazing alone on fallow land, wasteland, community land or grazing lands in absence of stall-feeding practice. Most of the hilly lands are present in the bigger islands such as North, Middle and South Andaman, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Katchal and Great Nicobar islands and are generally used for coco nut and areca nut plantation. Out of 36 inhabited islands 4 islands viz Curlew, John Lawrance, Peel and North Sentinel have no area under coconut cultivation. Car Nicobar, katchal, South Andaman, Great Nicobar, Middle and North Andaman, Little Andaman have more than 1000 ha under coconut. Car Nicobar has maximum area (9188 ha) and Stewart Island has (0.6 ha) under coconut cultivation. Rest of the islands has less than 100 ha area under coconut cultivation. This area could be used for growing fodders and could support 6 cattle per year on a mixed 1:1 grass legume fodders. Paddy is predominantly grown in Andaman group of islands and only North, Middle and South Andaman have more than 1000 ha area under paddy.

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  • P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Island eco-tourism: A case study of Andaman islands, India

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DOI : 10.17485/ijst/2010/v3i12.21

Year : 2010, Volume : 3, Issue : 12, Pages : 1247-1254

Original Article

Island eco-tourism: A case study of Andaman islands, India

D. Thulasimala 1 and Pearl DevDass 2*

Department of Geography, Queen Mary’s College, Chennai—600 004, TN, India Department of Geography, JNR Mahavidhyalaya College, Port Blair, Andaman, India [email protected]  

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A pristine world of silver sands, clear blue seas, coral reefs, swaying palms, tropical forests, volcanic mountains and a gently undulating landscape is what the Andaman and Nicobar islands are all about. The islands comprising of 572 islands/islets, extend over an area of 8,249 km 2 . Located between 6 o 45” N and 13 o 41” N latitudes and 92 o 12” E and 93 o 57” E longitudes, the islands offer exciting ecotourism products with natural and cultural settings. The present study dealt with tourism products, what attract tourists to the Andaman and Nicobar islands, preferences and choices among the touristic places and products. The scope of the present research work includes the assessment of positive and negative impacts of ecotourism in the Andaman’s as perceived by the domestic and international tourists. It provides suggestions and recommendations on the basis of the analysis of field data on the tourist profiles, tourism products and tourism infrastructure. Furthermore, on the basis of the outcome of this research; the research has suggested to the tourism planners and administrators suitable proposals for the development of ecotourism in the Andaman’s. More than 60% of the tourists have informed that they received information about the Andaman and Nicobar islands from their friends and relatives. The age composition of the tourists indicates that 57% of the tourists were in the age group of 31-50 years and 92% of the tourists were highly educated and none of the respondents in the sample was illiterate. The occupational structure of the tourists was found mixed, 70% of the total tourists comprised of technicians, government servants, private sector employees, students and teachers. Occupation wise, money spent by the tourists indicates that the government sector tourists earned a mean monthly income of about Rs. 28,000 and spent an average of Rs.72, 000 on their tour. Further, their sources of funding for the tour came from the leave travel concessions (LTC) schemes. According to the scores given by the visitors, for the natural tourism products, landscapes topped with 93.4% of the visitors, beaches with 90.5% and scenery with 88.9%, reserved forests with 86.8% and limestone caves with 68%. Similarly, the cultural and historical tourism products scored 82.2% for the natural history, historical sites 81.89% and museums 74.7% and heritage sites 72.4%. This clearly indicates that the Andaman has abundant natural beauty with a rich cultural heritage to become an ecotouristic destination. Keywords : Andaman, islands, India, Nicobar, tourism. 

  • 29 April 2020

case study on deforestation in andaman and nicobar islands

How to cite this paper

Pearl DevDass, Island eco-tourism: A case study of Andaman islands, India. Indian Journal of Science and Technology. 2010: 3(12).

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH article

A simple pcr-based quick detection of the economically important oriental fruit fly, bactrocera dorsalis (hendel) from india.

Varun Arya

  • 1 Insects Molecular Biology Laboratory, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • 2 Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • 3 Insect Physiology and Toxicology Laboratory, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is a significant economic and quarantine pest due to its polyphagous nature. The accurate identification of B. dorsalis is challenging at the egg, maggot, and pupal stages, due to lack of distinct morphological characters and its similarity to other fruit flies. Adult identification requires specialized taxonomist. Existing identification methods are laborious, time consuming, and expensive. Rapid and precise identification is crucial for timely management. By analyzing the variations in the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase-1 gene sequence (Insect barcoding gene), we developed a species-specific primer (SSP), DorFP1/DorRP1, for accurate identification of B. dorsalis . The optimal annealing temperature for the SSP was determined to be 66°C, with no cross-amplification or primer-dimer formation observed. The SSP was validated with B. dorsalis specimens from various locations in northern and eastern India and tested for cross-specificity with six other economically significant fruit fly species in India. The primer specificity was further confirmed by the analysis of critical threshold (Ct) value from a qPCR assay. Sensitivity analysis showed the primer could detect template DNA concentrations as low as 1 pg/µl, though sensitivity decreased at lower concentrations. Sequencing of the SSP-amplified product revealed over >99% similarity with existing B. dorsalis sequences in the NCBI GenBank. The developed SSP reliably identifies B. dorsalis across all developmental stages and sexes. This assay is expected to significantly impact pest identification, phytosanitary measures, and eradication programs for B. dorsalis .

1 Introduction

In the contemporary era of globalization, the escalating trade of fruits and vegetables stands as a primary catalyst for the dissemination of invasive insect-pest species into newer biogeographic realms ( Brockerhoff et al., 2010 ; Suckling et al., 2014 ). Currently, the phytosanitary infrastructure in many quarantine zones, scattered across numerous ports of entry within various countries, has gradually become outdated ( Ielmini and Sankaran, 2021 ). Compounded by the effects of climate change, the propagation of invasive pest species has gained momentum, posing an augmented threat to ecosystems on a global scale ( Skendžić et al., 2021 ). Notably, there has been a recent surge in the global status attainment of several invasive insect species, occurring at a notably accelerated pace compared to historical trends ( Hurley et al., 2016 ; Roques et al., 2016 ). Among these invasive pests, the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Tephritidae: Diptera), holds particular economic significance and has firmly established within India ( Khan et al., 2023 ). Originally documented in East India ( Clarke et al., 2019 ), subsequent studies by Clarke et al. (2019) and Qin et al. (2018) have identified Southeast Asian countries, particularly India and Bangladesh, as its centers of origin. Initially absent from the United States of America (USA), Europe, New Zealand, and Australia, B. dorsalis was widely distributed across Asia (excluding Korea and Japan) and African nations during early 2022 ( Mutamiswa et al., 2021 ). However, within a span of just two years, it has expanded its range to encompass 46 African, 41 Asian, and 4 Oceanian countries, as well as certain regions of the USA ( EPPO, 2024 ) ( Supplementary Figure 1 , https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/DACUDO/distribution ) (accessed on 9 March, 2024). Bactrocera philippinensis , B. papaya , and B. invadens were previously considered junior synonyms of B. dorsalis ( Schutze et al., 2015 ; Zeng et al., 2019 ). Nonetheless, Drew and Hancock (2022) have delineated them as distinct entities from B. dorsalis based on differences in the shapes and dimensions of the glans and preglans appendix. The maggot of B. dorsalis poses the most significant threat, with adult females utilizing their spiny ovipositors to penetrate the fruit skin and laying eggs beneath the rind. Upon hatching, the maggots voraciously consume the soft fruit pulp in a gregarious manner, resulting in complete destruction. Subsequently, the maggots pupate in the soil, from which the adults emerge ( Mutamiswa et al., 2021 ).

India encompasses diverse biogeographical and agro-ecological zones, harboring approximately 7-8% of the world’s species ( Venkataraman, 2012 ), thus earning the status of ‘megadiverse’ country ( Rewatkar, 2020 ). This rich biodiversity fosters favorable conditions for the establishment and adaptation of agricultural pest species, posing challenges for effective management. Sridhar et al. (2014) utilized the CLIMAX simulation model to investigate the impact of climate change on the potential range expansion of B. dorsalis within India. Their findings projected that by 2023, the northern states of India would become more conducive for the establishment of B. dorsalis . Additionally, Choudhary et al. (2019) forecasted that temperature shift would alter the host-pest dynamics of B. dorsalis , potentially leading to an increase in voltinism (1-2 higher number of generations than usual and 15-24% reduction in the generation time over the basal period), which may increase the infestation by approximately 5% in the mango crop in India by 2050. Presently, India faces a challenging scenario necessitating integrated pest management strategies with pest eradication efforts. The cornerstone of any successful management program lies in the accurate identification of the pest. Malavasi et al. (2000) documented the prolonged duration required for the identification of B. carambolae in Suriname, highlighting the detrimental consequences of delayed identification on eradication endeavors ( van Sauers-Muller, 2008 ). Similar challenges have been encountered in other regions, such as the failure to eradicate B. dorsalis in French Polynesia ( Leblanc et al., 2013 ) and B. zonata in Egypt ( Suckling et al., 2016 ), attributing to misidentification and the limitations of the existing detection techniques. Deschepper et al. (2023) studied the migration pathways of B. dorsalis in the islands of the Indian Ocean: the western invasion pathway originating from the east African coast, covering Comoros, Mayotte, and Madagascar into the Mascarene islands (Reunion and Mauritius), showing low genetic diversity and a direct colonization from the Asian subcontinent, forming a distinct cluster. Such situations highlight the critical need for a rapid and accurate pest identification tool. One promising technology in this regard is the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase-I (mtCOI)-based species-specific primer (SSP) for B. dorsalis , offering expedited and precise identification capabilities crucial for effective pest management and eradication initiatives.

In the Indian context, the infestation rate of mango fruits by B. dorsalis varied from 66.66% to 76.47% ( Saji et al., 2023 ), with percent yield loss ranging from 38% to 45% ( Hossain et al., 2020 ), and mango fruit loss percent ranging from 5% to 80% ( Maruthadurai and Ramesh, 2019 ). Countries importing mangoes from India enforce stringent quarantine protocols, requiring fruit to undergo either irradiation or hot water treatment prior to export to eliminate all the stages of fruit flies. However, if pests are detected during interception, they are either subjected to expert identification or identified via molecular barcoding, both of which are labor-intensive and time-consuming processes. In India, B. dorsalis , exhibits overlapping host preferences and morphological similarities with closely related fruit fly species, including B. zonata and B. correcta . Despite minor difference in coloration pattern ( Drew and Hancock, 1994 ), wing shape and venation ( Schutze et al., 2012 ), and genital characteristics ( Iwahashi, 2001 ), which may not be easily discernible to general ecologist, proper identification necessitates the expertise of a taxonomist. The discovery of a single larva in an export consignment necessitates the destruction of the entire shipment, incurring approximately US$39,000 per container, with exporters bearing the financial burden ( Ndiaye et al., 2008 ). B. dorsalis incurs annual financial losses exceeding US$2 billion in Africa, attributable to widespread fruit damage, high management cost, phytosanitary regulations, and interceptions ( Korir et al., 2015 ; CABI/EPPO, 2018 ). Therefore, precise identification of this pest at land or ports of entry, as well as during eradication efforts is imperative. The morphological characteristics of B. dorsalis overlaps with those of many closely related species within the Bactrocera clade ( Tan et al., 2011 ), not all of which are economically significant.

Although DNA barcoding of the mtCOI sequence offers an alternative to insect identification ( Frewin et al., 2013 ), it is time-consuming, expensive, and contingent upon sequence availability in various GenBank databases. In contrast, SSPs provide rapid positive, and sensitive identification, even with a trace DNA quantity. For instance, Jiang et al. (2013) developed a SSP for B. correcta , capable of identifying all life stages with a template DNA concentration as low as 1 ng/μl. Lantero et al. (2017) devised a SSP for B. oleae to explore predation by Carabid arthropod predators through trace B. oleae DNA detection in predator gut. Andrews et al. (2022) developed the SSPs for successfully identifying and differentiating four species within the Ceratitis complex ( C. capitata, C. cosyra, C. rosa , and C. quilicii ) to detection limits of 4 ng to 10 ng of DNA template from both larvae and adults, with applications in port inspections and fruit examination. The developed PCR-based SSP facilitates rapid species identification, irrespective of stage or sex, within two to three hours of post-DNA extraction. This diagnostic tool holds promise for pest detection in quarantine centers, newly invaded areas, and timely eradication programs. Inspired by the aforementioned research efforts, the present study aims at developing a SSP for B. dorsalis based on the mtCOI gene sequence from the Indian fruit fly populations. Validation will include diverse population samples from various locations within the country, cross-amplification tests with related fruit fly template DNA using standard PCR and qPCR assay, sensitivity assessment for low-quality DNA, and on-field specificity test.

2 Materials and methods

2.1 collection of fruit flies.

Bactrocera dorsalis adults ♂ were collected from eight distinct Indian states during the year 2022 ( Figure 1 ; Table 1 ), employing low-cost parapheromone bottle traps, prepared according to the specifications outlined by Arya et al. (2022) . Methyl eugenol sourced from Sisco Research Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. (SRL) Mumbai, India, served as the attractant while Fipronil 5% SC (Adama Agadi ® SC) functioned as an insecticide. These traps were strategically positioned across diverse crop covers at a height of 1 m from the ground for a duration of two weeks. For each mango fruit displaying symptoms indicative of infestations such as internal rotting, pulpiness, dark lesions, splitting, and fluid exudation, five maggots were meticulously collected from the Horticultural Garden, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Each fruit, enclosed within a sterilized glass beaker with a capacity of 1 liter and filled with sterilized soil to a depth of 5-7 cm, was covered with muslin cloth and maintained at a temperature of 27 ± 3°C. From the soil surrounding each fruit, five pupae were extracted, subsequently rinsed in distilled water, surface-sterilized using 90% ethanol, and preserved ( Supplementary Figure 2 ). Upon emergence, the adults were harvested and stored for further examination. All specimens (maggots, pupae, and adults) were meticulously preserved in 90% ethanol and stored at -20°C until DNA extraction. The adults were scrutinized under a stereo-zoom microscope (Zoomstar-III, Dewinter), with their identities corroborated against existing taxonomic literature ( David and Ramani, 2011 ; Leblanc et al., 2021 ) prior to molecular analysis. The immature stages of the verified B. dorsalis adults were subsequently subjected to DNA extraction.

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Figure 1 Bactrocera dorsalis collected from different locations in India is depicted in the map generated using QGIS 3.32.3. software.

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Table 1 The collection sites along with the number of individuals of Bactrocera dorsalis collected.

2.2 DNA extraction and amplification of the mtCOI gene sequence

Genomic DNA extraction was performed from the mid and hind legs of the adult fruit flies (three individuals from each location), whereas entire maggots and pupae were utilized for immature stages, using the Qiagen DNeasy ® Blood and Tissue Kit, following the manufacturer’s instruction. The DNA quality of the samples was estimated using a Nanodrop 2000/2000c spectrophotometer (ThermoFisher Scientific), selecting samples with an A 260 /A 280 ratio >1.8 for subsequent analysis. Amplification of the mtCOI gene sequence was performed employing universal barcode primers (LCO-1490: 5′-GGT CAA CAA ATC ATA AAG ATA TTG G-3′ and HCO-2198: 5′-TAA ACT TCA GGG TGA CCA AAA AATCA-3′) ( Folmer et al., 1994 ). A 25 µl polymerase chain reaction (PCR) mixture was prepared, consisting of 12.5 µl Emerald Amp ® GT PCR master mix (TaKaRa), 8.5 µl of nuclease-free water, 0.5 µl of each forward and reverse primer, and 2 µl of the template DNA. PCR amplification was conducted using the Bio-Rad T100™ thermal cycler, with the following conditions: initial denaturation at 94°C for 5 min, 35 cycles of denaturation at 94°C for 30 s, annealing at 47°C for 40 s, initial extension at 72°C for 40 s followed by final extension at 72°C for 8 min. The PCR products were subjected to electrophoresis on a 2% TAE agarose gel (Merck-Milipore) stained with ethidium bromide and visualized under the Bio-Rad XR+ gel documentation system.

2.3 Development of the SSP for B. dorsalis

The complete mitochondrion genome and the mtCOI nucleotide sequences, representing distinct fruit fly species sourced from various geographic regions globally, were accessed from the NCBI GenBank database ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ ) (accessed on 4 November 2022) ( Supplementary Table S1 ). Separate alignment of the mtCOI sequences and the complete mitochondrion genome was performed using the ‘ClustalW alignment’ tool integrated within the MEGA X software ( Stecher et al., 2020 ), wherein scrutiny focused on discerning notable intra-specific similarities and inter-specific variabilities. A Neighbor-Joining (NJ) phylogenic tree ( Saitou and Nei, 1987 ) was constructed from the aligned complete genomes using 1000 replicate bootstrap method ( Felsenstein, 1985 ) and Kimura 2-parameter substitution model ( Kimura, 1980 ), for similarity assessment and evolution analysis of the fruit flies. Subsequently, SSPs tailored for B. dorsalis were formulated utilizing the Primer3Plus tool ( Untergasser et al., 2012 ), guided by predefined criteria encompassing marker length falling within the range of 18-30 bps, absorbance value (ΔG) below 9 kcal/mol, GC content ranging from 40% to 60%, and termination with a G/C nucleotide at the 3’ end ( Tyagi et al., 2023 ). The specificity of the selected SSPs was corroborated through the NCBI primer BLAST utility ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/tools/primer-blast/ ) (accessed on 2 August 2023). The selected SSPs were analyzed for potential specificity by checking the complementary sites of the forward and reverse primers in the pre-aligned fruit fly mtCOI sequences using the ‘ClustalW alignment’ tool in the MEGA X software. Assessment for potential hairpin structures, self-dimerization, and hetero-dimerization tendencies among the primers was conducted utilizing the Oligoanalyzer tool ( http://www.idtdna.com/Home/Home.aspx ) (accessed on 15 August 2023). The designed SSPs were synthesized by the M/S Eurofins Genomics India Pvt Ltd., Bengaluru, India, for subsequent experimental validation.

2.4 Selecting and validating the effective SSP through cross-amplification and sensitivity test

The designed SSPs underwent validation using B. dorsalis DNA extracted from various geographical regions via gradient PCR. PCR reaction volumes were minimized to 20 µl, comprising 10 µl of PCR master mix (Emerald Amp ® GT PCR master mix, TaKaRa), 7 µl of nuclease-free water, 0.5 µl of each primer (forward and reverse), and 2 µl of the template DNA. Thermal cycling conditions followed were as mentioned in the ‘DNA extraction and amplification of the mtCOI gene sequence’ section (2.2), with annealing temperature ranging from 55°C to 70°C for 40 s. Cross-amplification assessment was performed utilizing DNA templates from distinct fruit fly species: B. zonata, B. correcta, Zeugodacus cucurbitae , Z. tau and B. digressa , stored at -20°C in the ‘Insects Molecular Biology Laboratory’, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, in triplicate manner. Visualization of bands occurred on a 2% TAE agarose gel, and the most efficient SSP-amplified PCR products were subjected to Sanger sequencing (M/S Eurofins Genomics India Pvt. Ltd.) in duplicate to verify similarity with existing B. dorsalis mtCOI sequences submitted in the BOLD/NCBI GenBank libraries. Template DNA stock solutions from various species were prepared at a concentration of 50 ng/µl by dilution with nuclease-free water for cross-amplification studies. Marker efficiency was assessed using DNA from individual B. dorsalis specimens collected at each location ( Figure 1 ; Table 1 ) including immature stage (maggots), in triplicate. Sensitivity testing involved diluting B. dorsalis DNA to concentration ranging from 60 ng/µl to 1 pg/µl, followed by PCR assay with consistent primer concentrations.

2.5 Validation of the primers via qualitative PCR assay

To further validate the specificity of the developed primer sets (DorFP1/DorRP1) for the target DNA sequence, a qualitative PCR (qPCR) assay was performed. The reactions were prepared in 96-well PCR plates with a total volume of 10 µl, comprising the following components: 5 µl of SYBR™ Green Real-Time PCR Master Mix (ThermoFisher Scientific), 1 µl each of forward and reverse primes, and 3 µl of template DNA. The template DNA from the fruit fly species used in the gradient PCR assay was included, along with the template DNA of B. dorsalis collected from UK, HP, AS, WB and BR, and two no-template controls (NTC) containing nuclease-free water instead of DNA, in triplicate. The reactions were conducted in a QuantStudio 5 Real-Time PCR systems (Applied Biosystems, Thermo Fischer Scientific, USA), following the thermal cyclic stages outlined in Table 2 . Subsequent data analysis was performed with QuantStudio™ Design & Analysis Software v1.4 (Applied Biosystems, Thermo Fischer Scientific, USA). The amplified products were visualized in a 2% TAE agarose gel for possible amplifications. The cycle threshold (Ct) values for each sample, measured in triplicate, were analyzed statistically using a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to determine if significant differences existed between the treatments. This was followed by Duncan’s multiple range test (DMRT) to compare the means ( Duncan, 1955 ). The following statistical analysis was performed in the IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows version 22.0 statistical software package (IBM Corp.).

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Table 2 Thermal cyclic stages of the qPCR assay.

2.6 On-field specificity study of the developed SSPs

During the kharif season of 2023, fruits of bitter gourd ( Momordica charantia ), sponge gourd ( Luffa aegyptiaca ), tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ), guava ( Psidium guajava ), and mango ( Mangifera indica ), exhibiting symptoms of fruit fly infestation, as described in the ‘Collection of fruit flies’ section (2.1), including the presence of actively feeding live maggots in the fruit pulp, were collected from the Banaras Hindu University campus. Each fruit was stored in a separate sterilized glass beaker (1 liter capacity), filled with sterilized soil to a height of 5-7 cm. Two to four maggots were meticulously harvested from each fruit and stored in 90% alcohol for DNA extraction, while the remaining maggots were allowed to feed and develop into adults to confirm the identity of the emerged fruit fly. The adults, once emerged, were collected and identified based on morphological characters, corroborated with available taxonomic literature by Leblanc et al. (2021) and David and Ramani (2011) . DNA extraction of the preserved maggots was followed by PCR using the DorFP1/DorRP1 primers under the specific thermal cyclic conditions, and the amplified products were visualization on a 2% TAE agarose gel, as described in the ‘DNA extraction and amplification of the mtCOI gene sequence’ section (2.2), to demonstrate the practical application of the study.

3.1 Estimation of DNA quality

The DNA extracted from the adult fruit flies exhibited high quality, characterized by a mean concentration of 164.70 ± 14.22 ng/µl, validated by the production of distinct band fragments at ~700 bps in a 2% TAE agarose gel (with reference to molecular ladder) through PCR amplification utilizing the universal barcode primer set (LCO-1490 and HCO-2198) ( Figure 2 ). Therefore, within this investigation, the absence of PCR bands in assessing subsequent specificity and sensitivity cannot be attributed to an inadequate DNA template.

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Figure 2 2% TAE agarose gel displaying the amplified mtCOI gene sequence of the B. dorsalis DNA via universal barcode primers (LCO-1490/HCO-2198) collected from different Indian states, showing a single clear band of ~700 bps size with reference to the molecular ladder, proving the use of high-quality extracted DNA. L: 100 bps molecular ladder (BR Biochem), B. dorsalis samples from MP, AS, HP, WB, HR, UP, BR, and UK, as per the state codes mentioned in Table 1 .

3.2 SSP selection based on cross-specificity test

Upon examination of nucleotide polymorphism within various B. dorsalis DNA sequences sourced from NCBI GenBank accessions, three pairs of SSPs were formulated, denoted as DorFP1/DorRP1, DorFP2/DorRP2, and DorFP3/DorRP3, yielding amplified product of 506, 296, and 196 bps, respectively ( Table 3 ). Notably, DorFP1/DorRP1 ( Supplementary Figure 3 ) exhibited optimal performance, demonstrating no cross-amplification across diverse fruit fly species under the PCR annealing temperature of 66°C, generating a 506 bps product, as depicted in Figure 3 ( Table 4 ). Triplicate replication of experiments consistently corroborated these findings. Analysis of the species-specific amplified product confirmed >99% similarity to existing B. dorsalis nucleotide sequences within the BOLD/NCBI GenBank database. The nucleotide sequences have been deposited in the NCBI GenBank database under the accession numbers PP479586 and PP479587.

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Table 3 Details of the species-specific primer developed for Bactrocera dorsalis.

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Figure 3 2% TAE agarose gel images displaying a replication of the cross-amplification test for the most effective SSP (DorFP1/DorRP1) at a range of annealing temperatures (°C) [ (A) : 60, (B) : 61, (C) : 62, (D) : 63, (E) : 64, (F) : 65, (G) : 66, (H) : 67, (I) : 68 and (J) : 69] by representing a single clear band of 506 bps in each lane. L: 100 bps molecular ladder (BR Biochem), lane 1: B. dorsalis , lane 2: B. zonata , lane 3: B. correcta , lane 4: Z. cucurbitae , lane 5: Z. tau and lane 6: B. digressa . It represents the SSP showing no cross-amplification with the DNA templates of the tested fruit fly species at 66°C annealing temperature.

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Table 4 Results of cross-amplification test of the SSP (DorFP1/DorRP1) observed at different annealing temperatures.

3.3 Efficacy of SSP, phylogenic analysis and sensitivity test

Upon analyzing the primer specificity of the DorFP1/DorRP1 SSP using the NCBI primer BLAST utility, the primers were found to be highly specific to B. dorsalis nucleotide sequences submitted as the NCBI GenBank accessions, with >97% BLAST hits (number of B. dorsalis sequences in the database that have significant similarity with the product). This was further verified by performing nucleotide sequences alignment using the ‘ClustalW’ algorithm, depicting clear possible annealing of DorFP1/DorRP1 SSP within the B. dorsalis nucleotide sequences, and subsequent variations among the sequences of other selected species ( Figure 4 ). The Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree of the complete mitochondrial sequences of the fruit flies ( Figure 5 ) clearly depicts B. dorsalis forming a distinct and a well-supported clade. The B. dorsalis clade has a high bootstrap value of 100, indicating a very high confidence level in the branching and distinguishing this species from others, thereby reinforcing the reliability of the phylogenetic separation and classification ( Barr et al., 2021 ). B. dorsalis is closely related to B. correcta , as indicated by their adjacent positioning in the tree and the high bootstrap value of 100 for this branch. This shows significant genetic similarity, yet they are distinct enough to form separate clades. Additionally, B. zonata appears as another closely related species with equally high bootstrap support (100), suggesting a close evolutionary relationship within this group. The species arranged under the Zeugodacus clade are more distinct from B. dorsalis compared to the aforementioned species. The SSP demonstrated consistent amplification across all tested B. dorsalis specimens sourced from diverse geographical regions, as outlined in Table 1 . As evident in Figure 6 , the SSP efficiently amplified the 506 bps sequence from the mtCOI gene of B. dorsalis , yielding a single, uniform band at the 506 bps position relative to the molecular ladder in all the lanes of the gel. This outcome validated the SSP’s specificity, unaffected by variations in B. dorsalis DNA sequences collected from different regions across India. Additionally, the SSP exhibited amplification in template DNA extracted from immature B. dorsalis stages (maggots and pupae), as illustrated in Figure 7 , underscoring its utility in identifying the pest during early development phases. In the sensitivity assessment, B. dorsalis DNA with a concentration of 184 ng/µl was serially diluted. Results indicated a diminishing intensity patterns of DNA bands at consistent concentrations and volumes of the SSP. Robust bands remained visible down to 10 pg/µl of the template DNA, with a faint band observed at 1 pg/µl DNA concentration, showcasing the high sensitivity of DorFP1/DorRP1 to minute amounts of template DNA, as depicted in the Figure 8 . This underscores the SSP’s capability to amplify a trace quantities of template DNA effectively.

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Figure 4 Alignment of the mtCOI sequence of B. dorsalis (NCBI Accession No. KM359573.1) with the locations of DorFP1/DorRP1 species-specific marker (direction: 5’➔3’, forward and reverse).

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Figure 5 The Neighbor-Joining (NJ) phylogenetic tree constructed using the complete mitochondrial genome sequences of fruit flies, retrieved from NCBI GenBank, revealed robust clustering in bootstrap tests (1000 replicates). This analysis categorized the specimens into two distinct clades: Bactrocera and Zeugodacus .

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Figure 6 2% TAE agarose gel displaying validation of the specificity of the SSP (DorFP1/DorRP1) by successfully amplifying the B. dorsalis DNA samples collected from different geographical locations within India. Each lane represents a single-uniform band of 506 bps. L: 100 bps molecular ladder (BR Biochem), B. dorsalis samples from MP, AS, HP, WB, HR, UP, BR and UK, as per the state codes mentioned in Table 1 .

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Figure 7 2% TAE agarose gel displaying the amplification by DorFP1/DorRP1 in the immature stages of the B. dorsalis . L: 100 bps molecular ladder (BR Biochem), M1, M2 and M3: three replicates of maggots, and P1, P2 and P3: three replicates of pupae.

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Figure 8 2% TAE agarose gel displaying the results of the sensitivity test of DorFP1/DorRP1 for different concentrations of DNA templates of B. dorsalis. L: 100 bps molecular ladder (BR Biochem), lane 1: 60 ng/µl, lane 2: 50 ng/µl, lane 3: 35 ng/µl, lane 4: 25 ng/µl, lane 5: 15 ng/µl, lane 6: 10 ng/µl, lane 7: 5 ng/µl, lane 8: 1 ng/µl, lane 9: 100 pg/µl, lane 10: 10 pg/µl and lane 11: 1 pg/µl.

3.4 SSPs validation based on qPCR assay and on-field specificity test

The qPCR analysis of various samples of B. dorsalis , including both maggot and adults from diverse geographical origins, exhibited robust amplification profiles ( Figure 9A ). The amplification commenced in the early exponential phase, typically between the 11 th and 15 th cycles, and progressed sharply before plateauing towards the end of the reaction. These findings suggest highly efficient and specific amplification of the target sequences. The non-target species (including B. correcta, B. zonata, B. digressa, Z. cucurbitae , and Z. tau ) showed negligible amplification, highlighting the high specificity of the primer pair to B. dorsalis . Both the NTC exhibited no significant amplification throughout the cycles, confirming the absence of contamination and the specificity of the assay. In the qPCR melting curve analysis, SYBR green fluorescent dye was used to label double-stranded DNA. As the temperature increased, the DNA separated (melted), causing a decrease in florescence ( Wittwer et al., 2024 ). The melting temperature was specific to the B. dorsalis DNA sequences. The peak began to develop at 72°C, marking SSP’s extension temperature, with distinct peaks observed around 75-77°C for B. dorsalis DNA, ensuring a successful amplification. No peaks observed for the DNA templates of other fruit fly species and the NTC ( Figure 9B ). The statistical analysis of the obtained Ct values showed a significant difference between the treatments ( Table 5 ), with distinct groupings indicating which treatments are significantly different from each other. The Ct values represent the number of cycles required for the fluorescent signal to cross a threshold ( Mishra et al., 2022 ). Samples containing the DNA template of B. dorsalis exhibited significantly low Ct values (11.383 to 16.347), indicating the presence of target DNA ( Table 6 ). Conversely, the high Ct values of the non-target species and the NTCs confirmed the absence of contamination and non-specific amplification in the qPCR assay, demonstrating the high-sensitivity of the SSPs ( Figure 10A ). The specificity of the DorFP1/DorRP1 was further confirmed by visualizing the qPCR products on a 2% TAE agarose gel, which revealed clear, robust bands adjacent to the wells loaded with qPCR products containing B. dorsalis DNA template, in contrast to the qPCR products of non-template DNA ( Figure 10B ). In a standard PCR assay, the DorFP1/DorRP1 SSP accurately identified B. dorsalis among major economically important fruit flies infesting horticultural crops with 100% accuracy in a small study in the institution campus ( Table 7 ). This experiment underscores the practical application and usefulness of the assay under real-field conditions.

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Figure 9 An optimized qPCR assay performed to assess the specificity of the DorFP1/DorRP1 SSPs using laboratory-extracted DNA templates from populations of B. dorsalis from UP (both maggot and adult), UK, HP, AS, WB, and BR. This was compared with B. correcta, B. zonata, B. digressa, Z. cucurbitae , and Z. tau , with inclusion of two NTC. (A) The graph illustrates the change in fluorescence signal (ΔRN) against the number of PCR cycles, representing successful amplification of samples containing B. dorsalis template DNA. (B) Melting curve analysis demonstrating species specificity of SSP for B. dorsalis , plotted against fluorescence derivative units (-RN’), and temperature (°C).

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Table 5 Two-way ANOVA table of Ct values for fruit fly DNA samples obtained in the qPCR assay.

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Table 6 The cycle threshold (Ct) values of reaction samples in the qPCR assay.

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Figure 10 (A) Comparative analysis of the Ct values. The Ct values of B. dorsalis specimens were plotted against those of non-target fruit fly species. The specimens include: 1. B. dorsalis (UP maggot), 2. B. dorsalis (UP adult), 3. B. dorsalis (UK adult), 4. B. dorsalis (HP adult), 5. B. dorsalis (AS adult), 6. B. dorsalis (WB adult), 7. B. dorsalis (BR adult), 8. B. correcta , 9. B. zonata , 10. B. digressa , 11. Z. cucurbitae , 12. Z. tau , 13. NTC1, and 14. NTC2. (B) 2% TAE agarose gel of qPCR assay. The samples loaded in the following order: L: 100 bps molecular ladder (BR Biochem), lane 1: B. dorsalis (UP maggot), lane 2: B. dorsalis (UP adult), lane 3: B. dorsalis (UK adult), lane 4: B. dorsalis (HP adult), lane 5: B. dorsalis (AS adult), lane 6: Z. cucurbitae , lane 7: Z. tau , 8: lane 8: B. zonata , lane 9: B. correcta , lane 10: B. digressa , lane 11: NTC1, and lane 12: NTC2.

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Table 7 The results of on-field specificity test of DorFP1/DorRP1 SSP on fruit flies infesting major crops within the Banaras Hindu University campus, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.

4 Discussion

Bactrocera dorsalis stands as a paramount economic concern within the agricultural landscape of India, exhibiting a voracious appetite for a wide array of fruits and vegetable crops ( Jena et al., 2022 ). Accurate identification of this species represents a pivotal challenge for the effective implementation of diverse management strategies. The phylogenic analysis using the NJ tree is particularly useful for constructing phylogenetic trees when sequence divergence is relatively low ( Pearson et al., 1999 ). Analyzing the NJ phylogenic tree helped to identify clades that distinctly separate B. dorsalis from other species, focusing of branches/nodes having high bootstrap support. This facilitated the examining of aligned sequences corresponding to the branches in the NJ tree to locate unique genetic regions. The SSP developed in this investigation demonstrated precise identification of B. dorsalis specimens obtained from different Indian states, including the immature stages, even with template DNA concentration as low as 1 pg/µl, readily discernible on a 2% TAE agarose gel without necessitating further downstream analysis or sequencing. Dilution of the template DNA to 100 fg/µl and 10 fg/µl failed to yield any amplification, thereby establishing the lower limit of detection to 1 pg/µl. Notably, this method expedites species confirmation within a short timeframe post-DNA extraction, thereby mitigating temporal, financial, and resource constraints associated with conventional molecular identification via DNA barcoding. The selected primer pair demonstrated proficiency in generating a relatively larger amplicon size (506 bps) compared to alternative PCR-based SSPs developed for fruit flies ( Jiang et al., 2013 , Jiang et al., 2014 ; Afroza et al., 2022 ). Analysis of the primer-amplified product derived from diverse B. dorsalis mtCOI nucleotide sequences ( Supplementary Table 1 ) utilizing the ‘Sequence Manipulation Suite’ ( Stothard, 2000 ) unveiled 21 restriction sites for nine restriction endonucleases within the amplified region, attesting to its precision in delineating genetic variability and diversity within the species ( Engels, 1981 ; Schulman, 2007 ). Moreover, the primer adeptly identified species-specific DNA fragments within the mtCOI sequence of B. dorsalis specimens collected across a wide elevational range within India, from low altitudes (≈47 m) to some of the highest elevations conducive to fruit fly survival (≈911 m) ( Table 1 ), unaffected by genetic structural alterations, despite reports of substantial genetic variation within B. dorsalis mtCOI gene sequences across elevations ( Shi et al., 2005 ; Liu et al., 2007 ). This underscores the potential conservation of the amplicon region within the species, furnishing a valuable tool for deciphering gene flow dynamics and enhancing comprehension of the genetic architecture of pest populations within the country ( Manel et al., 2003 ; Adams et al., 2014 ). Furthermore, this knowledge can inform strategies for delineating reinvasion pathways and facilitate population categorization for effective management as discrete eradication units ( Savidge et al., 2012 ).

Numerous contemporary methodologies have emerged for fruit fly identification, encompassing diverse assays such as real-time PCR/qualitative PCR ( Koohkanzade et al., 2018 ), multiplex PCR ( Chen et al., 2016 ), loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) ( Blacket et al., 2020 ), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) ( Barr et al., 2006 ), simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers ( Ding et al., 2018 ), and conventional PCR ( Jiang et al., 2013 ), each offering unique applications and advantages. Notably, Rizzo et al. (2024) recently devised a qPCR assay targeting species-specific primers derived from mtCOI gene sequences to discriminate B. dorsalis , catering specifically to the prevailing pest dynamics in Europe. However, in the Indian context, qPCR facilities are not universally accessible, particularly in remote quarantine centers; nonetheless, conventional PCR remains ubiquitous in molecular research laboratories nationwide. The assay herein was meticulously developed to facilitate easy adoption and widespread dissemination of technology throughout the country. Furthermore, the efficacy of the developed SSP was rigorously evaluated across diverse haplotypic populations of B. dorsalis from India, improving the robustness of the primers. Despite this validation, cross-amplification testing of the B. dorsalis SSP was limited to some major economically significant fruit fly species exhibiting comparable infestation levels, shared host plants, and ecological niches within the region. The results were supported by Ct value analysis performed using the qPCR assay, showing significantly lower and consistent Ct values for B. dorsalis compared to other non-specific fruit flies. The Ct value inversely correlates with target DNA concentration ( Rabaan et al., 2021 ) and leads to reproducible values across replicates ( Svec et al., 2015 ), which is important for reliable quantification. In the present experiment, the lowest Ct value (11.383 ± 0.06) was obtained for the highest concentration of template DNA ( B. dorsalis maggot: 210 ng/µl). The Ct values for B. dorsalis ranged closely from 11.38 to 16.34, compared to non-specific fruit flies, thereby supporting to the specificity of the SSP. According to melting curve analysis, the SSP produced a single peak corresponding to the specific target sequence, whereas multiple peaks can indicate non-specific amplification ( Rodríguez et al., 2015 ). The Bactrocera dorsalis complex comprises approximately 79 species, delineated through comprehensive analysis incorporating morphological traits of adults and larvae, host-plant association, tissue-enzyme electrophoresis, morphometrics of adult male and female genitalia, male pheromone chemistry and molecular analysis ( Drew and Hancock, 2022 ). Within the dorsalis complex, several species of the fruit fly have been documented in India, including B. amarambalensis Drew, B. andamanensis Kapoor, B. carambolae Drew & Hancock , B. caryeae Kapoor , B. dorsalis Hendel, B. melastomatos Drew & Hancock, B. merapiensis Drew & Hancock , B. neoarecae Drew , B. paraverbascifoliae Drew , B. ranganathi Drew & Romig , B. syzygii White & Tsuruta , B. thailandica Drew & Hancock, B. verbascifoliae Drew, and B. vishnu Drew and Hancock. However, of these, only B. carambolae, B. caryeae and B. dorsalis have been identified as significant agricultural pests ( Vasudha et al., 2019 ; Drew and Hancock, 2022 ). B. caryae have been reported in the southern regions of India, spanning Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala ( Ramani et al., 2008 ), while B. carambolae has been observed in Meghalaya ( Manger et al., 2018 ) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands ( Vasudha et al., 2019 ). Due to their geographical spread, economic importance, and absence in the sampled location, the aforementioned fruit fly species were excluded from the present study. Upon analyzing the nucleotide sequence of the SSP-based amplified products generated from the study (NCBI accession numbers PP479587 and PP479586), it was observed that these sequences exhibited similarities with the existing nucleotide sequences of B. carambolae and B. raiensis (approximately 0.89% to 1.90% on the basis of number of hits) in the NCBI-BLASTn ( https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi ) (accessed on 20 February, 2024). Nonetheless, the SSP DorFP1/DorRP1 successfully distinguished B. dorsalis from other agriculturally important fruit fly species found in India. Further analysis is warranted to differentiate the pest within the dorsalis complex. During the on-field experiment to analyze the specificity of the developed SSP for B. dorsalis , it was observed that individuals of a single fruit fly species emerged from a single fruit, whereas individuals of different species emerged from different fruits on the same tree (e.g., B. dorsalis , B. zonata , and B. correcta from guava). The likely reason for this is the deposition of oviposition deterrents on the fruit by the adult female of the fruit fly species that first reached it, preventing oviposition not only by individuals of different species but also by other females of the same species ( Mojdehi et al., 2022 ). This underscores the importance of the SSP in identifying the presence of B. dorsalis on fruits and studying its oviposition behavior and chemical markers, which may have significant implications for pest management in the near future ( Scolari et al., 2021 ).

India holds a prominent position globally as a competitive producer and exporter of various horticulturally significant crops, notably mango and guava ( Raman et al., 2023 ), with Middle Eastern and Western European countries comprising the primary market recipients ( Thakor, 2019 ). The country boasts 73 plant quarantine stations situated at international airports, seaports, and land borders, overseeing the regulation of plant material movement into and within its borders ( Sushil et al., 2022 ). Detection of fruit fly infective propagules, including eggs, maggots, overwintering pupae, and active adults, poses a formidable challenge, given the potential for internal damage to remain concealed until symptoms appear, often rendering intervention too late for consignment salvage ( Louzeiro et al., 2021 ). Recent findings by Akbar et al. (2020) unveiled new hosts for B. dorsalis in the Kashmir valley, underscoring the species’ capacity for host range expansion with prolonged persistence in natural habitats. Effective management or eradication of B. dorsalis necessitates rigorous measures during active crop growing periods, coupled with stringent field hygiene and post-harvest protocols during off-season intervals. These strategies, augmented by swift identification and elimination of infective propagules from non-domestic commodities within commercial fruit cultivation zones, offer promising avenues for large-scale pest management. Consequently, the B. dorsalis SSP developed and scrutinized in this study holds substantial promise, poised to assume a pivotal role in an array of fruit fly management programs, domestically and potentially on an international scale.

5 Conclusion

In this study, we have developed a PCR-based SSP, designated as DorFP1/DorRP1, tailored for the swift and precise identification of B. dorsalis . The technology harnessed herein is distinguished by its simplicity, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and robust sensitivity, enabling accurate discrimination of B. dorsalis across various metamorphic stages and sexes. Our investigation rigorously characterized the SSP’s specificity, revealing no instances of cross-amplification in the examined species, at PCR annealing temperatures of 66°C, significantly low qPCR Ct values for the target species, while also demonstrating remarkable sensitivity to a DNA template concentration as low as 1 pg/µl. To advance scientific understanding, additional investigation is required to access cross-amplification potential of the SSP assay across fruit fly species from a broad spectrum of geographic regions, particularly those including within the B. dorsalis complex. Furthermore, we explored the utility of the SSP-amplified product, with an amplicon size of 506 bps, as a potential surrogate tool for gauging genetic diversity within the species. As such, we posit that DorFP1/DorRP1 holds significant promise for applications in quarantine operations and diversity studies, thereby fostering opportunities for assessing its efficacy across a broader spectrum of fruit fly species sourced from diverse geographic locations. The SSP assay is anticipated to provide valuable insights into tracking the uncontrollable dissemination of the Indian population of B. dorsalis , informing decision-making process concerning international trade regulation, and serving a pivotal tool for monitoring and detection purposes.

Data availability statement

The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/ Supplementary Material . Further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author.

Ethics statement

The manuscript presents research on animals that do not require ethical approval for their study.

Author contributions

VA: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Software, Writing – original draft. SN: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Software, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing. TS: Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Validation, Writing – review & editing. AK: Methodology, Resources, Validation, Writing – review & editing. SR: Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Validation, Writing – review & editing.

The author(s) declare that no financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Acknowledgments

The corresponding authors acknowledges Trans disciplinary research project funded by the Banaras Hindu University. The authors acknowledge the Director and the Head, Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, for providing the necessary lab facilities and space to perform the experiments. The authors also acknowledge the Coordinator, Interdisciplinary School of Life Sciences (ISLS) for providing the qPCR facility, and all the people/friends associated with the collection of the fruit fly specimens from different locations within the country for their contribution.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher’s note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

Supplementary material

The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2024.1399718/full#supplementary-material

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Keywords: Bactrocera dorsalis , species-specific primers, qPCR, primer sensitivity, pest identification, phytosanitary measures, fruit fly

Citation: Arya V, Narayana S, Sinha T, Kandan A and Satyanarayana Raju SV (2024) A simple PCR-based quick detection of the economically important oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) from India. Front. Plant Sci. 15:1399718. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2024.1399718

Received: 12 March 2024; Accepted: 25 June 2024; Published: 09 July 2024.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2024 Arya, Narayana, Sinha, Kandan and Satyanarayana Raju. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Srinivasa Narayana, [email protected]

† ORCID : Srinivasa Narayana, orcid.org/0000-0002-3917-3713

Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

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    This study looks at deforestation and legal rights to forest resources on the island of Little Andaman, in the Andaman and Nicobar Island group, an Indian territory located in the Bay of Bengal. The island is the home of the Onge—a threatened indigenous community of Negrito origin.

  5. Evaluating the effects of natural disasters, human influence, and

    Before 2006, Little Andaman was considered a part of the former Port Blair tehsil. However, on the 17th of August 2006, the Andaman & Nicobar Administration declared Little Andaman as a distinct tehsil (Cgwb.gov.in n.d.).Little Andaman, located between 10°30′-10°56′N latitude and 92°28′-92°35′E longitude, is one of the prominent islands of the ANI (Fig. 1).

  6. (PDF) Assessment and Monitoring of Deforestation and ...

    This study provides spatial information on forest types, deforestation and associated land-use changes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands during 1976 to 2014. ... (244.6 sq. km). The rate of ...

  7. (PDF) Illegal Logging and Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    This study looks at deforestation and legal rights to forest resources on the island of Little Andaman, in the Andaman and Nicobar Island group, an Indian territory located in the Bay of Bengal. The island is the home of the Onge—a threatened indigenous community of Negrito origin.

  8. Illegal Logging and Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

    Abstract. This study looks at deforestation and legal rights to forest resources on the island of Little Andaman, in the Andaman and Nicobar Island group, an Indian territory located in the Bay of ...

  9. The Vulnerable Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A Study of Disasters and

    The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a union territory of India located in the Bay of Bengal 1,200 km away from the Indian mainland. The archi-pelago covers a total of 572 islands, of which 38 are inhab-ited. The total population according to the 2011 census was 380,581. The Andamans stand for 78 percent of the land territory and 90 percent of ...

  10. Illegal Logging and Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

    Findings are reported from a series of investigations starting in 1998 that found logging operators and government agencies have systematically violated both the laws and the resources of Little Andaman. Abstract This study looks at deforestation and legal rights to forest resources on the island of Little Andaman, in the Andaman and Nicobar Island group, an Indian territory located in the Bay ...

  11. Small island management: a case study of the Smith Island, North

    The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of the Indian waters are endowed with rich natural resources which support the inhabitants of the islands for their economic, environmental and cultural well-being. It is important that the islands are conserved and protected for its unique environment and also managed sustainably for the livelihood security of the island communities. A major challenge in the ...

  12. Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar

    This case study will look at the situation in one of the remotest corners of India, the islands of the Andaman and Nicobar, a chain of over 350 islands located in the Bay of Bengal. The study looks particularly at the deforestation in the relatively 3643 small island of Little Andaman which is also the home of a very small and remarkable but ...

  13. Andaman forests need longer intervals between repeat logging for

    The study was conducted between December 2017 and May 2018 in Baratang and Middle Andaman Forest Divisions of central Andaman Islands. Researchers used GPS-based maps from post-2005 Working Plans and hand-drawn maps from pre-2005 Working Plans created by the Department of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Andaman and Nicobar ...

  14. Indigenous Forest Management In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

    This book offers an extensive study of indigenous communities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India, and their methods of forest conservation, along with an exploration of the impact of forestry operations in the islands and the wide scale damage they have incurred on both the land and the people. Through an in-depth analysis of the ...

  15. Report on Land Use in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    This report is required to evaluate tie impact of deforestation on the general environment of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and to formulate guidelines for land use and conservation there. In broad outline these are the terms of reference that were presented in greater detail to the Multidisciplinary Team of 1975 (ref.l).

  16. How the loss of a tropical forest in Nicobar could end up funding a

    The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration aims to build Rs 75,000-crore worth projects - an International Container Transhipment Terminal, an airport, a power plant, and a new township ...

  17. Ethnographic Hotspots of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Urgency for

    Jarawas of Andaman Islands defended their territory triumphantly on the strength of their bows and arrows against all outlanders, be it mariners, castaways, or mighty British colonizers and thus retained their forest abode with its resources largely intact till mid-twentieth century when the Indian government chose these islands for rehabilitating Bengali refugee families.

  18. The Islands and the Anthropologist

    The Andaman and Nicobar archipelago lay 1,300 kilometers (about 800 miles) east of India between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. It comprised more than 500 tropical islands and rocky uplifts, all claimed by India. Of these, 24 islands made up the Nicobars, and of these 12 were inhabited.

  19. Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar: its impact on Onge

    This paper presents a case study of the deforestation of a remote corner of India, the islands of the Andaman and Nicobar, near the Bay of Bengal. Issues addressed include: the increasing population of migrants, timber extraction, and the impact on the small and threatened Onge tribal community. Bhargava, N. 1983: Ethnobotanical studies of the ...

  20. Analysis of Land use, Crop Productivity in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    Major land use in the islands is forest which range between 19.83 to 100 percent. Car Nicobar island has 19.83 % area and Narcondum, North Sentinel, Strait island, Peel island, Flat bay, Stewart island, John Lawrence, Aves, East and Interview island have 100% area under forest. On the other hand, cultivable area ranges from -80.16%.

  21. The Vulnerable Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A Study of Disasters and

    The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a union territory of India located in the Bay of Bengal 1,200 km away from the Indian mainland. The archipelago covers a total of 572 islands, of which 38 are inhabited. The total population according to the 2011 census was 380,581. The Andamans stand for 78 percent of the land territory and 90 percent of the ...

  22. PDF Island eco-tourism: A case study of Andaman islands, India

    islands are preserved the way they had evolved, still inhabited by tribes and considered the oldest living communities in the world.The Andaman and Nicobar islands comprising of 572 islands/islets, extend over an area of 8,249 km2 (Fig. 1). The main islands in the Andaman groups are Landfall Island, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Port Blair and

  23. Island eco-tourism: A case study of Andaman islands, India

    Located between 6 o 45" N and 13 o 41" N latitudes and 92 o 12" E and 93 o 57" E longitudes, the islands offer exciting ecotourism products with natural and cultural settings. The present study dealt with tourism products, what attract tourists to the Andaman and Nicobar islands, preferences and choices among the touristic places and ...

  24. Frontiers

    B. caryae have been reported in the southern regions of India, spanning Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala (Ramani et al., 2008), while B. carambolae has been observed in Meghalaya (Manger et al., 2018) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Vasudha et al., 2019). Due to their geographical spread, economic importance, and absence in the ...

  25. PDF Regn. No. 34190/75 No. 184 Port Blair, Monday, July 08, 2024 Web: dt

    Andaman Port Blair 3. MV Campbell Bay 13.07.2024 0700 Hrs Port Blair Little Andaman 13.07.2024 2100 Hrs Little Andaman Port Blair PORT BLAIR - CAR NICOBAR via LITTLE ANDAMAN Passenger tickets for the sailing schedule on 8thJuly, 2024 will be issued from 05.07.2024. 1. MV Bharat Seema 08.07.2024 0700 Hrs Port Blair Car Nicobar via Little Andaman