Researchers Develop First Gene Drive Targeting Worldwide Crop Pest

From UC San Diego News Center

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have developed a method of manipulating the genes of an agricultural pest that has invaded much of the United States and caused millions of dollars in damage to high-value berry and other fruit crops.

Research led by Anna Buchman in the lab of Omar Akbari, a new UC San Diego insect genetics professor, describes the world’s first “gene drive” system—a mechanism for manipulating genetic inheritance—in Drosophila suzukii, a fruit fly commonly known as the spotted-wing drosophila. Continue reading

Webinar: Organic Management of spotted wing drosophila

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has emerged as a devastating pest of small and stone fruits worldwide. We have organized a webinar to provide you with the most updated information on everything you need to know for organic management of SWD. Continue reading

University of Florida doctoral student wins award for work with spotted wing drosophila

Although it is no longer a new pest, spotted wing drosophila continues to be a bane for small fruit—especially organic—growers. To help both organic and conventional growers fight the pest, a University of Florida doctoral student examined several pest management options and has won a regional award for her research.

Lindsy Iglesias

Lindsy Iglesias, who will graduate from the University of Florida in May with her Ph.D., discovered some novel and more efficient ways to scout and control spotted wing drosophila, or SWD, that will work for both organic and conventional growers. She won a Friends of Southern IPM Graduate Student Award from the Southern IPM Center for her work. Continue reading

UGA entomologist encourages the use of cultural practices in managing spotted wing drosophila (SWD)

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

University of Georgia entomologist Ashfaq Sial advises Georgia blueberry farmers to manage the spotted wing drosophila (SWD), the crop’s most destructive pest, by incorporating cultural practices into farming.

Practices likes heavy pruning, controlled burns of the wooded areas surrounding blueberry fields, and the use of weed mat as a ground cover are effective management tools. These practices ensure the success of SWD management programs implemented during harvest, the time when blueberries are most vulnerable to SWD infestations. Continue reading

USDA scientist discovers nature-based pesticide that kills SWD

In USDA ARS news

A scent that petunias and snapdragons release to attract pollinators may be an environmentally friendly control for pests like the spotted wing drosophila fly (SWD) and the brown marmorated stink bug.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Aijun Zhang discovered the fragrant chemical methyl benzoate, which is also a popular ingredient approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in foods, cosmetics and shampoo, can kill these insects and others. Continue reading

Help fight SWD by answering survey online

in Growing Produce

by David Eddy

Leaders of a nationwide project, Sustainable Spotted Wing Drosophila Management for U.S. Fruit Crops, are asking growers to complete an online survey about the pest.

An important part of the project, which was funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, is measuring the impact SWD has had on affected crops, said Hannah Burrack, Associate Professor of Entomology and Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University. Continue reading

Spotted Wing Drosophila Webinar Scheduled for January 25th – Register Now!

by Hannah Burrack, NC State University

Spotted wing drosophila on strawberry

SWD on strawberry. Photo by Bev Gerdeman, Washington State University

Members of the Sustainable SWD Project will present a webinar online on January 25th at 12-1pm eastern time, highlighting information about control of the invasive insect pest, spotted wing Drosophila. The webinar titled “Making the Most of Your Insecticide Toolbox to Manage SWD” will cover research conducted during the first year of this project, and will provide recommendations for growers to prepare for the 2017 growing season. In this webinar, presenters from North Carolina State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Georgia will report on their research on insecticidal control of spotted wing drosophila. Continue reading

UC Davis post doctoral postion: Spotted Wing Drosophila Population Biology and Management

Post-doctoral fellowship to study the biology of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) populations in California’s agricultural landscapes, and to conduct research on novel management methods. This work will be based in the laboratory of Dr. Frank Zalom, Distinguished Professor and Extension Entomologist, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. Continue reading

Experts recommend ways to deal with spotted wing drosophila

In Growing Produce

It’s just a fruit fly, for crying out loud. As kids we’d see their like hovering over the family fruit bowl and shoo them away without a thought. But spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is so much more than that.

Though small like their nonthreatening drosophila relatives — adults are only about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long — it’s the black spot towards the tip of each male’s wing, which earns them the spotted wing moniker.

Continue reading

SWD’s favorite aroma may lure it to its death

In ARS News

By Jan Suszkiw

A blend of odors that attracts spotted wing drosophila flies (SWD) has been developed into a new lure product for improved monitoring and control of these tree-fruit and berry pests.

The blend is a combination of four different chemicals found in the aromas of both wine and vinegar. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist Peter Landolt and research associate Dong Cha, along with their Oregon Department of Agriculture colleagues, isolated the chemicals and evaluated them extensively in laboratory and field trials.

Continue reading