Erika Opperman

PhD Candidate


Primary promoter:  Prof. John S. Terblanche


Project title: False codling moth population genetics: gene flow in agricultural environments

Project aims:

  • Examine gene flow of FCM in orchard and non-orchard (natural and semi-natural habitats and home gardens) locations across South Africa to identify likely movement pathways and the existence of possible host races (broadscale);
  • Examine gene flow within and between major crops or host plants (including natural vegetation and wild hosts) to identify possible refugia across Western Cape;
  • Perform genetic kinship assignment analyses of FCM to track individual moths in orchards and home gardens to estimate dispersal within and among generations, and identify which males have mated with which females;
  • Investigate the influence of sex, rearing temperature on wing and body morphology and assess the effects of these changes on flight ability and low temperature performance of FCM in the laboratory