DROSKII: a transnational attempt for insight on the damage potential of Drosophila suzukii and on the development of risk management and control measures
Abstract: “Droskii” is a 2-year project running in the frame of Euphresco II – an European Research Area Network (ERA-NET) project for the development and implementation of research policies in the field of statutory and emerging plant pests, diseases and invasive species – devoted to deepen the knowledge and to face the pressing needs posed by the recently introduced spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae).D. suzukii has a wide host range and can attack many fruit crops, mainly small fruits, fruit trees and grapevine. It poses a major challenge to the development of alternative Integrated Pest Management strategies. Given the importance of soft fruits, stone fruits and grapes in the daily food intake, the risk of pesticide residues from the over-reliance on chemical products, the main control measures currently adopted against D. suzukii, is increasing. Furthermore, the economic costs of SWD do not only include direct yield losses but also associated labour and material costs for monitoring and management as well as revenue losses due to the closure of fruit export markets from SWD-infested regions by trading partners.The “Droskii” project is sub-divided in four main work packages: 1) the monitoring and forecasting activities of D. suzukii in Europe, e.g. by means of the development of efficient traps; 2) evaluation of the susceptibility of different fruit varieties and host plants; 3) survey and assessment on the infestation of grapes varieties in Europe; 4) actions for the containment and control of D. suzukii by environmentally-friendly measures. An additional activity of this project will be the transnational dissemination of the project acquirements and the reduction of pesticide use in fruit production, a vital mission both for occupational health and for consumer safety.