WERA1021: Spotted Wing Drosophila Biology, Ecology, and Management

(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)

Status: Active

WERA1021: Spotted Wing Drosophila Biology, Ecology, and Management

Duration: 10/01/2012 to 09/30/2017

Administrative Advisor(s):


NIFA Reps:


Statement of Issues and Justification

Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii, SWD), an economically significant pest of soft skinned fruit crops, has rapidly expanded its global range in the last 3 years (Lee et al. 2011). The biology, ecology, management, economic significance, and social impact of SWD differs significantly among regions, and coordination is necessary to ensure that research, extension, and outreach efforts are appropriate and regionally-relevant. In the United States, SWD has now been detected in California (2008), Oregon (2009), Washington (2009), Utah (2010), Montana (2011), Florida (2009), Louisiana (2010), Alabama (2011), Georgia (2011), South Carolina (2010), North Carolina (2010), Tennessee (2011), Virginia (2011), West Virginia (2011), Maryland (2011), Pennsylvania (2011), Michigan (2010), Wisconsin (2010), Massachusetts (2011), New Hampshire (2011), New York (2011), Ohio (2011), New Jersey (2011), Rhode Island (2011), Maine, (2011), Connecticut (2011) and Vermont (2011). Crop losses have been documented in some unmanaged crops, and larvae have been recorded feeding on numerous other commercial and non-commercial hosts (Walsh et al. 2011). Effective management of SWD has so far relied on repeated applications of broad-spectrum insecticide use. This is not environmentally sustainable or economical.

Research funding (USDA-SCRI, USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, US-EPA, grower funding, etc.) has been obtained to study SWD in several regions of the United States. The projects supported by these funds are examining biology, management, education, outreach, economic significance, genetics, and ecology ( Lee et al. 2011; Dalton et al. 2011; Bruck et al. 2011; Beers et al. 2011; Goodhue et al. 2011; Dreves 2011). The purpose of this Coordinating Committee is to create a venue for information exchange and minimize duplication of research, education, and extension efforts related to SWD. Furthermore, this collaboration will support the efforts of fruit growing stakeholders to produce a healthful crop in an economically and environmentally sustainable fashion. Stakeholders will continue to be regularly engaged in assessing the value of the research, education, and extension programs.

Objectives

  1. Determine the basic biology and ecology of SWD and how they vary according to location, host, and season.
  2. Develop reliable, easy to use traps, lures, and methods for monitoring SWD populations (both adults and larvae) in the field.
  3. Conduct laboratory and field studies to obtain data on developmental parameters and temperature tolerance limits, which will be used to develop and validate a degree-day model.
  4. Evaluate cultural, biological, and chemical control tactics for SWD in various crops in different regions of the country and develop sustainable integrated pest management plans.
  5. Develop widely available outreach materials, which will be available to Extension agents and teams and at events organized to educate grower and industry groups.

Procedures and Activities

Objective 1: Determine the basic biology and ecology of SWD and how they vary according to location, host, and season. Since relatively little is known about SWD seasonal biology in North America, studies will be conducted on development under different seasonal conditions and on different hosts. The genome of SWD will be described and used for comparative purposes to other Drosophila species, especially Drosophila melanogaster. We will coordinate comparable studies to better understand SWD ecology in crops and surrounding landscapes to improve knowledge of overwintering, movement, and natural enemies. We will monitor SWD populations weekly in berries, grapes, and stone fruits, using baited traps. All male and female SWD as well as other Drosophila species will be counted on a regular basis. When fruits are available, fruit proximate to each trap will be evaluated in the field for infestation. Number of larvae per fruit will be determined by laboratory evaluation. Further research will determine where SWD are overwintering, what their food sources are, and how far they can travel.

Objective 2. Develop reliable, easy to use traps, lures, and methods for monitoring SWD populations (both adults and larvae) in the field. We will conduct replicated studies to optimize trap design and bait formulations for affected crops. Effective methods for examining fruit for SWD larvae presence will also be tested. Growers stress the importance of 1) a quick and easy trapping system that will also avoid mechanical harvester damage for crops that are harvested mechanically, and 2) a practical and reliable method to detect larvae in fruit.

Objective 3. Conduct laboratory and field studies to obtain data on developmental parameters and temperature tolerance limits, which will be used to develop and validate a degree-day model. The degree day model will be based on accumulation of heat-units calculated from weather for SWD, which will improve risk assessment and ultimately lead to optimal management of SWD.

Objective 4. Evaluate cultural, biological, and chemical control tactics for SWD in various crops in different regions of the country and develop sustainable integrated pest management plans. These will be evaluated in laboratories and small plots, followed by field-scale testing of the most promising approaches to determine their performance under commercial conditions. The most compatible control tactics will be coordinated into integrated and sustainable pest management programs for SWD relevant to each affected region.

Objective 5. Develop widely available outreach materials, which will be available to Extension agents and teams and at events organized to educate grower and industry groups. Coordinated presentations at grower and industry meetings will provide these groups with current reliable peer reviewed information on SWD biology, ecology and management. Articles, including Extension bulletins, will be created and disseminated via media outlets and appropriate websites.

Expected Outcomes and Impacts

  • We will determine the most effective sustainable region-appropriate management options for SWD. Management strategies will be based on the biology and ecology of SWD including its genetics, physiology, dispersal, landscape influences, and seasonal phenology relevant to the cropping system. All recommended strategies will be framed within their relevant economic and sociological settings.
  • Optimal timing of treatments will be based on effective monitoring, efficacy of various chemical and alternative environmental friendly control options.
  • Information resulting from all complementary research will be archived in an online workspace to maximize information transfer nationally. The data and information sharing effort will be coordinated by a taskforce composed of members of established and new multi-state extension networks and personnel at the institutions of multistate participants.
  • New findings and recommendations made available via the online database will be used to develop outreach materials such as fact sheets, newsletters, and other appropriate resources. Growers meetings will provide a venue for disseminating information, and other venues will be taken advantage of or created as necessary and appropriate. Peer-reviewed manuscripts will also be produced. It is expected that each year's new research results will enable updated recommendations and improved tools for on-farm SWD monitoring and management. These results can be communicated to outreach educators and stakeholders regularly, even as they are being built upon and methods improved. Consequently, within the five year period of this project, a solid foundation of monitoring and control methods should be developed and communicated directly to Extension teams, grower groups, state agriculture departments, and other stakeholders.
  • Timely communication of newly developed management options will allow growers and industries to mitigate the impact of SWD-related crop losses and will result in more environmentally and economically sustainable fruit production in the USA. As SWD spreads to new areas, those Extension teams will have the tools to better educate and prepare their stakeholders, who will be able to curtail damage as a result of the outreach efforts afforded by this committee's work.

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Educational Plan

At each annual meeting, the committee will present the current year's activities, and then discuss, share and coordinate SWD management issues, future research and extension needs, extension educational approaches, and novel applications within regional fruit production and home gardener/urban landscape systems. The annual meeting will provide a forum for research and extension liaisons throughout the country to discuss issues and coordinate responses. An annual report will be compiled to provide documentation of regional deliverables and accomplishments in SWD management during the past year. Following the annual meeting, members of the committee will disseminate information gained to appropriate parties within their areas. Extension agents and teams will be updated and trained as needed, workshops and field days will be organized, and educational materials will be shared with grower groups. Throughout the year, members of the committee will share information with each other about what outreach materials and approaches were most and least effective.

During this project, WERA members will organize at least one regional symposium at a branch meeting of the Entomological Society of America, a national symposium at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America that will be held in Portland, OR in November, 2014, and at the International Congress of Entomology meetings in 2012 (South Korea) and 2016 (proposed for Orland, FL). These professional activities will: 1) expand information exchange beyond the WERA membership, 2) address specific learning needs (monitoring, management, biology, ecology, economics, sociology), 3) provide professional development to stakeholders, 4) foster inter-agency and regional/national linkages, dialogue, learning and information dissemination, with an emphasis on designing and implementing sustainable management of SWD as it establishes endemic populations. Stakeholder involvement will be strongly encouraged.

Organization/Governance

Officers include a chair, a past-chair, and vice-chair (chair-elect) who will record meeting minutes, maintain a current email list, and maintain contact with the administrative adviser. Election of a new vice-chair occurs at each annual meeting, and this new officer is installed immediately. It is the responsibility of the current chair to organize and host the year's meeting. Because a primary objective of this committee is to foster interdisciplinary research and extension involving SWD, officers and members encourage the Directors from each state to sponsor at least two professionals to attend the annual meetings as voting members. The committee desires both Experiment Station and Extension representation. Additional participants are welcome.

Literature Cited

Beers, E.H., R.A. Van Steenwyk, P.W. Shearer, W.W. Coates, J.A. Grant. 2011. Developing Drosophila suzukii management programs for sweet cherry in the western United States. Pest Management Science. 67(11): 1386-1395.

Bruck, D.J., M. Bolda, L. Tanigoshi, J. Kleiber, J. DeFrancesco, B. Gerdeman, and H. Spitler. 2011. Laboratory and field comparisons of insecticides to reduce infestations of Drosophila suzukii in berry crops. Pest Management Science. 67(11): 1375-1385.

Dalton, D.T., V.M. Walton, P.W. Shearer, D.B. Walsh, J. Caprile, and R. Isaacs. 2011. Laboratory survival of Drosophila suzukii under simulated winter conditions of the Pacific Northwest and seasonal field trapping in five primary regions of small and stone fruit production in the United States. Pest Management Science. 67(11): 1368-1374.

Dreves, A.J. 2011. IPM program development for an invasive pest: coordination, outreach and evaluation. Pest Management Science. 67(11): 1403-1410.

Goodhue, R.E., M. Bolda, Derek Farnsworth, J.C. Williams, F.G. Zalom. 2011. Spotted wing drosophila infestation of California strawberries and raspberries: economic analysis of potential revenue losses and control costs. Pest Management Science. 67(11): 1396-1402.

Lee, J.C., D.J. Bruck, A.J. Dreves, H. Vogt, P. Baufeld. 2011. In focus: Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, across perspectives. Pest Management Science. 67(11): 1349-1351.

Walsh, D.B., M.P. Bolda, R.E. Goodhue, A.J. Dreves, J. Lee, D.J. Bruck, V. Walton, S. O'Neal, and F. Zalom. 2010. Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae): invasive pest of ripening soft fruit expanding its geographic range and damage potential. J Integrated Pest Manag. 2: 1-7.

Attachments

Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

AR, CA, FL, GA, ID, MA, MD, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NY, OR, UT, WA, WI

Non Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Industry Consultant, Oregon State University, University of Florida, USDA-ARS, Yakima, Washington
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