Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Management of spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) with low risk methods

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.05  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Phytomedicine 

Code Science Field
B390  Biomedical sciences  Phytotechny, horticulture, crop protection, phytopathology 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
biopesticide; blueberry; cherry; insect; integrated pest management; low risk pest management; organic; pest; raspberry; soft fruit
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (21)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  29092  PhD Maarten De Groot  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  708 
2.  39280  PhD Marko Devetak  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2018 - 2021  85 
3.  24785  Alenka Ferlež Rus  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  126 
4.  33222  PhD Andreja Kavčič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,043 
5.  34227  Erika Komel  Plant production  Technical associate  2018 - 2021  55 
6.  05663  PhD Darinka Koron  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  746 
7.  25805  MSc Špela Modic  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  381 
8.  39994  Davor Mrzlić  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021 
9.  39841  Matic Novljan  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2020  158 
10.  24978  MSc Jolanda Persolja  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  95 
11.  51755  Franček Poličnik  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  88 
12.  20162  PhD Sebastjan Radišek  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  621 
13.  20163  PhD Magda Rak Cizej  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  566 
14.  26091  PhD Jaka Razinger  Plant production  Head  2018 - 2021  446 
15.  33045  Mojca Rot  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2018 - 2021  100 
16.  05672  PhD Gregor Urek  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  736 
17.  34325  PhD Andrej Vončina  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  188 
18.  34339  PhD Nika Weber  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  228 
19.  27952  PhD Ivan Žežlina  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2018 - 2021  217 
20.  39838  Primož Žigon  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  392 
21.  23195  Silvo Žveplan  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  198 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0401  Agricultural institute of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5055431  20,022 
2.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  12,014 
3.  0416  Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing  Žalec  5051762000  4,259 
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) (Drosophila suzukii [Matsumura, 1931], Diptera, Drosophilidae) originating from Asia, recently invaded North America and Europe and emerged as a pest of soft fruits. While other Drosophila species feed on rotten and damaged fruits, D. suzukii females possess a serrated ovipositor that allows egg deposition into undamaged fruits causing great harvest losses. As it is a relatively new pest in Slovenia, its biology needs to be studied and appropriate methods for its effective control must be tested. Synthetic plant protection products (chemical insecticides) are not sufficient for complete control of SWD, as there are less and less allowed active substances on the market, and moreover, their use does not provide 100% crop protection. Therefore, as successful counter-diseases and -pests measures cannot rely on the use of plant protection products only, an integrated approach emphasizing the use of low-risk methods is needed, such as the use of anti-insect nets, low-risk methods i.e. the use of bioinsecticides. When using low-risk methods (non-chemical methods), the biology of the pest (adult specimens and the occurrence of first larvae) must be monitored, both in terms of different micro locations as well as in relation to the different host plants to which SWD has different preferences. Fruit varieties, which in Slovenia have great economic potential and are susceptible to SWD attack, will be the focus of the project: cherries, raspberries and American blueberries. Cherry is considered as one of the most important fruit species in Slovenia, produced on about 215 ha. In recent years, the production of raspberries and blueberries in Slovenia has been on the rise. Currently raspberries are grown on 21 ha and American blueberries on 46 ha, which is by approx. 6.1% more and 4% more than in 2017, respectively. The best known preventive solution at present is the anti-insect net protection of plantations. However the expenditure of the anti-insect nets for growers is considerable and there is a quite modest practical experience regarding their use. Same goes with bioinsecticides or pesticides whose active substances belong to the class of MNT. SWD damage is additionally caused due to the availability of alternative hosts in vicinity of orchards, which serve as an important source of food at the time when host plants are not available or/and as a shelter in unfavourable environmental conditions. In the proposed project, we are going to introduce and to test the principles of good agricultural practice with an emphasis on low-risk methods for controlling SWD in the Slovenian production area. By developing and testing various methods, we seek to find the most effective and environmentally acceptable manner to prevent damage caused by the spotted wing drosophila in agricultural production. Based on project’s practical results and examination of relevant professional and scientific literature, expert recommendations for producers will be prepared regarding pests control and management. Additionally, informative material that will help to increase the familiarity and awareness of the producers with SWD will be prepared as part of the project as well. The results of the project are aimed to contribute to a more effective fight against spotted wing drosophila which will consequently facilitate cultivation and improve competitiveness in agricultural production.
Significance for science
In the fruit production at the moment we are dealing with new invasive, alien pests (Drosophila suzukii, Halyomorpha halys,..) which are difficult to control with classical plant protection measures. Due to their specific biological and morphological characteristic, seasonal occurrence and fruit infestation at harvest time, it is not possible to use insecticides in effective and safety way. In order to reduce the SWD population and to prevent crop losses it is necessary to combine chemical and non-chemical crop protection methods. The implementation of agrotechnical and hygiene measures is also recommended. If the insect proof nets will be proved us an efficient and feasible measure to prevent SWD damage in cherry production, the method could be recommended and implemented into practice. Practical experiences and knowledge obtained through research could be beneficial for solving similar problems in plant protection. In short time we will need solutions for Marmorated stink bug control, which present a new threat for Slovenian fruit production. The production of raspberries in Slovenia has increased in last years. We produce 21 ha of raspberries, which is 6,1 % more than in year 2017 (ARSKTRP). Because of demands of local citizens to buy home-produced fruit, the growers are more interested in production of raspberries. In this project, we will try to find successful solutions to control spotted wing drosophila on raspberries. This project will focus on environmentally acceptable methods. We will be obtaining new knowledge, based on consistently monitoring of biology of SWD. With this, we will able to be forecast, how to control SWD. Also we will check efficacy of environmentally acceptable methods known from literature in Slovenian conditions. The project will investigate low-risk plant protection methods for suppression of Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), which causes great economic damage on blueberries within and outside of Slovenia. By organizing the training for growers, setting up experimental plantations, carrying out technological experiments and designing the criteria for quality Slovenian fruit, we will strive to contribute significantly to the solution of the PVM problem. The result of the project will directly contribute with important information about new technology practices during blueberry growing season and also with new postharvest solutions. With gained knowledge we will better understand the connection between PVM and blueberries’ physiology and metabolomics. With the development of a new postharvest technology (CO2 and cooling), we aim to reduce the survival of PVM preimaginary stages (eggs, larvae and pupae), which will consequently reduce the reliance on synthetic pesticides.
Significance for the country
Cherry production is uncertain as it depends on weather conditions and pest and diseases pressure. The fluctuation in annual yields represents a limiting factor in the development and expansion of the production. Implementation of the insect-proof nets and rain covers could have an important impact on sweet cherry production. The method could significantly contribute to more stable and high-quality yields and to increase the profitability of sweet cherry production. The production of raspberries, which is increase in Slovenia, has become important market value as complementary activity on Slovenian farms. Besides selling raspberries as fresh fruit, growers also looking to process raspberries in finished products (for example: jams, etc.), which has much higher value and it has important economic aspect. These finished products have also additional value, because they should not be applied on short expiry date of fresh raspberries. We expect that we will achieve with results of this project stability production of raspberries with no signs of SWD damage and raspberries will not rot. Innovative solutions for the control of PVM in the agricultural production of blueberries developed in the project will be important for companies during the development of new products for PVM management. Since more emphasis will be placed on the development of preventive measures (insect nets) and non-chemical methods of protection (low-risk methods), this will contribute to a better knowledge of products already marketed by certain companies. The development of low-risk methods would reduce the number of insecticide applications, thus reducing the risk of resistance development and decreasing the risk of accumulation of residues of active substances in fruits and environment. New storage technologies, which will potentially contribute to the control of PVM after harvesting, represent an opportunity for companies involved in the development and installation of storage systems.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, 2019, 2020
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2018, 2019, 2020
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