The spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is an invasive pest from Asia rapidly spreading across Europe since 2008. In 2014, it caused significant damage in fruit and vine plants in Germany. In Europe, yield losses can occur up to 100% depending on the cultivation area. Ripening fruits are preferred for egg-laying. The subsequent larval feeding causes most damage, because the fruits coincide and become mushy. Currently, no effective control methods are available. The aim of the project is to establish an alternative, environmentally friendly control method (attract and kill) based on the so-called RNA interference (RNAi).
Fig. 1: Male of spotted wing drosophila
Photo: Martin Hauser.
Fig.2: Drosophila suzukii pupa on cherry fruit (Photo: Martin Hauser).