UK and EU SWD Research Projects Listed

A vast number of research projects have been undertaken in the UK and overseas since SWD started to spread around the world. The UK and EU projects that have taken place in recent years are listed here.

EU Funded Project: DROSKII

Project Title: Damage potential of Drosophila suzukii and development of risk management and control measures (DROSKII)

Duration: June 2012 to May 2014

Objectives 

  • To characterize the potential dispersal of D. suzukii in Europe by large scale monitoring
  • To characterize/identify the most behaviourally-active volatiles emitted by fruits host of D. suzukii in order to develop more selective and powerful attractant lures
  • To test the efficacy of environmentally sound methods such as physical barriers, mass-trapping and mating disruption
  • To characterize/identify the occurrence and level of incidence of natural enemies, in particular parasitoids

Further information

Work package 5 was managed by UK scientists at Fera and was entitled ‘Actions for containment and control of D. suzukii by environmentally-friendly measures’

A summary report on DROSKII can be found at the website:

http://www.euphresco.net/projects/portfolio

EU Funded Project: DROPSA 

Project Title: Strategies to develop effective, innovative and practical approaches to protect major European fruit crops from pests and pathogens

Duration: January 2014 to February 2018

Objectives

  • To determine the means through which quarantine pests and diseases are introduced into the EU and spread across the European fruit sector
  • To identify the key mechanisms within the biology and ecology of D. suzukii for the development of sustainable control methods
  • To develop effective and innovative solutions to control Drosophila suzukii based on biological data, transfer of best practices and adaptation of innovative technologies for inclusion in IPM strategies
  • To develop innovative, practical, preventive and integrated control solutions for quarantine fruit pests and diseases, utilising current control strategies, with an emphasis on the prevention of D. suzukii and diseases that infect crops.

Further information

A European funded project which covered a number of insect pests and diseases including SWD. The UK components of work which focused on SWD were managed by Fera, Imperial College and Oxitec.

A summary report on DROPSA can be found at the website:

https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/613678/reporting

 

UK Funded Project: AHDB SF 145

Project Title: Understanding and developing methods for managing SWD in the UK

Duration: April 2013 to March 2017

Objectives

  • To determine the distribution and seasonal population dynamics of all life stages of SWD in different cropping situations and especially under polytunnel crops on fruit farms in the UK and investigate its wild hosts and overwintering.  This objective is funded by Defra in Year 1
  • To develop economically and environmentally sustainable treatment and disposal strategies for soft and stone fruit waste to eliminate it as a source of SWD infestation and attraction on fruit farms
  • To develop and evaluate sampling and attraction methods for quantifying SWD infestations in different soft and stone fruits
  • To develop a synthetic lure and attract and kill technology for SWD for incorporation into IPM programmes
  • To obtain evidence for the effectiveness of different plant protection products including biopesticides and for developing an insecticide resistance management strategy for SWD.

Further information

This four-year project was funded by AHDB, Defra and several fruit industry partners including British Summer Fruits, The East Malling Trust, The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and CPM Retail. The work, which began in 2013, was led by NIAB EMR and the James Hutton Institute.

The complete series of reports from this project are available for viewing on the AHDB website at:

https://ahdb.org.uk/sf-145-understanding-and-developing-methods-for-managing-spotted-wing-drosophila-swd-in-the-uk-vital-research-to-maintain-the-viability-of-the-uk-fruit-industry

 

UK Funded Project: AHDB SF/TF 145a 

Project Title: Development and implementation of season-long control strategies for Drosophila suzukii in soft and tree fruit

Duration: April 2017 to March 2021

Objectives 

  • Continued national monitoring of the populations of SWD in Scotland and England
  • Develop and optimize a push/pull system using repellents and attract and kill strategies
  • Develop bait sprays for control of SWD
  • Investigate prolonging spray intervals for maximum effect but minimal applications
  • Integrating exclusion netting with other successful controls
  • Develop, design and communicate a year-round strategy for UK crops for SWD control 

Further information

This four-year project was funded by AHDB. The work, which began in 2017, was led by NIAB EMR and the James Hutton Institute.

The complete series of reports from this project are available for viewing on the AHDB website at:

https://ahdb.org.uk/sf-tf-145a-development-and-implementation-of-season-long-control-strategies-for-drosophila-suzukii-in-soft-and-tree-fruit

An abbreviated summary of the latest findings from this project are found in the section entitled ‘Latest findings in AHDB research project SF/TF 145a’.

 

UK Funded Project: AHDB Studentship CP 122  

Project Title: The identification of viral pathogens suitable for the control of Drosophila suzukii in the UK

Duration: September 2014 to August 2017 

Objectives 

  • Detection of novel viruses using a high-throughput metagenomic approach. Scientists have used this approach successfully to identify multiple new viruses from D. melanogaster, including a DNA Nudivirus
  • The isolation of viruses capable of infecting SWD, either from SWD or from amongst viral sequences we have identified in other Drosophila (including the Nudivirus)
  • The characterisation of viral pathology in SWD, for example: dosage curves, rates of mortality, transmission and variation for resistance 

Further information 

This studentship project was led by the University of Edinburgh University in conjunction with NIAB EMR. The project aimed to identify, isolate, and characterise viruses suitable for control of SWD. 

The reports from this project are available for viewing on the AHDB website at: 

https://ahdb.org.uk/cp-122-the-identification-of-viral-pathogens-suitable-for-the-control-of-drosophila-suzukii-in-the-uk-studentship 

 

UK Funded Project: AHDB Studentship CP 142 

Project Title: Enhancing control of the soft- and stone- fruit pest Drosophila suzukii (Spotted Wing Drosophila) by exploiting its activity patterns in the field.

Duration: October 2015 to September 2018

Objectives 

  • Determine how temperature, photoperiod, and internal time keeping mechanisms affect rhythms in D. suzukii including locomotor activity, oviposition and feeding
  • Validate predicted D. suzukii daily and seasonal activity patterns in the field
  • Test trapping devices and approved chemical and biochemical plant protection products on the most vulnerable life stages, including optimal field temperatures for control of D. suzukii
  • Formulate recommendations for optimizing D. suzukii detection and control strategies for susceptible UK crops

Further information 

This studentship project was led by the University of Southampton in conjunction with NIAB EMR. It aimed to identify the daily and seasonal behaviour rhythms of Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing drosophila, SWD) to exploit its behaviour for future pest control in UK fruit crops. 

The reports from this project are available for viewing on the AHDB website at: 

https://ahdb.org.uk/cp-142-enhancing-control-of-the-soft-and-stone-fruit-pest-drosophila-suzukii-spotted-wing-drosophila-by-exploiting-its-activity-patterns-in-the-field-studentship

 

UK Funded Project: AHDB Studentship CP 171 

Project Title: The use of highly attractive yeast strains for controlling Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing drosophila) 

Duration: October 2017 to September 2020 

Objectives 

  • Characterise the yeast community on ripening fruits (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, cherry) and cherry leaf extra-floral nectaries
  • Using isolates of UK yeast strains, test for the attraction to D. suzukii (laboratory choice testing using UK strains of D. suzukii)
  • Determine and test the blends of yeasts which are most attractive and whether these need to be active or latent
  • Determine the most appropriate time of year to use the baits for greatest efficacy (field testing when D. suzukii is most attracted and whether baits can compete with ripening fruits) 

Further information 

This studentship project was led by the University of Lincoln in conjunction with NIAB EMR. It aimed to investigate attraction of a range of yeast strains for attraction and/or repulsion to Drosophila suzukii feeding and formulate blend for field testing for future use as baits in attract and kill strategies for crop protection. 

The reports from this project are available for viewing on the AHDB website at: 

https://ahdb.org.uk/cp-171-the-use-of-highly-attractive-yeast-strains-for-controlling-drosophila-suzukii-spotted-wing-drosophila 

A published paper is also available to view in Nature Communications and can be found at: 

www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-79691-3 

 

UK Funded Project: CTP Studentship FCR 2017 1 

Project Title: Developing a ‘push-pull’ strategy for the management of Drosophila suzukii 

Duration: October 2017 to September 2021 

Objectives 

  • To determine through electroantennography which of a panel of 14 putative repellents can be detected by female D. suzukii
  • To determine whether antennal responses to these chemicals differ between the summer and winter morphs of D. suzukii

Further information 

This studentship project was led by the University of Greenwich in conjunction with NIAB EMR. It aimed to optimize SWD attractants and repellents and their deployment in control programmes using the ‘push-pull’ control strategy, which will hopefully reduce soft fruit growers’ reliance upon traditional crop protection products. 

The reports from this project (CTP FCR 2017 1 Christina Conroy) are available for viewing on the AHDB website at: 

https://ahdb.org.uk/sf-tf-170-ctp-for-fruit-crop-research-studentships

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Scott Raffle

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