Activity 20

Ecological pest management for Spotted Wing Drosophila


Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii, SWD) is a top priority for entomological and agricultural research programs because of the negative impact on global small fruit production. Additional management strategies for spotted wing drosophila must be sought in order to reduce economic losses to fruit growers, manage pesticide resistance for spotted wing drosophila and increase marketable berry production. This is especially true for organic berry producers, who are disproportionately impacted by a lack of effective controls for spotted wing drosophila and its presence within Canadian growing regions. There are a limited number of organic tools to manage spotted wing drosophila, including only a few pesticides registered for organic use, and cultural controls (such as removal of alternative host plants and prompt removal of ripe fruit) are labor intensive and economically impractical for some growers. Additional ecological and cultural controls must be trialed within organic systems to sustain and grow organic production of berries and other small fruits.

Our research group will develop multiple, independent but potentially synergistic strategies for spotted wing drosophila pest management. 1) We will work to develop an intercropping system for berries and small fruits to reduce spotted wing drosophila presence in crops, through repelling the pest and attracting beneficial natural enemies. 2) In parallel, the forecasted safety and efficacy of using two Asian parasitoids for biological control will be documented, to support a petition for their release within Canada and to provide long-term, self-sustaining control of spotted wing drosophila. 3) In greenhouse and farm trials, microbial bio-products and novel plant growth promoters will be evaluated for enhanced crop resistance, both above ground as foliar sprays, and below ground, as soil amendments. Research into multiple vectors of control will increase the likelihood of developing a successful strategy or strategies for better spotted wing drosophila pest management.

Activity researchers

Name   Organization/Location
Juli Carrillo, Assistant Professor (Activity Leader) UBC, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems
Annabelle Firlej, Research scientist on berry crop (Activity Leader) IRDA
Jacques Brodeur, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Biocontrol University of Montreal
Cara Haney, Assistant Professor, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Plant Microbiome Interactions UBC, Centre for High Throughput Biology
Simone Castellarin, Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair in Viticulture and Plant Genomics UBC, Applied Biology, Wine Research Centre
Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Professor Rutgers, Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension
Stephen Heard, Professor University of New Brunswick, Department of Biology
Stephanie Tellier, agronomist Ministry of Agriculture in Quebec
Debra Moreau AAFC- Kentville, NS
Chandra Moffat AAFC- Summerland, BC
Paul Abram AAFC- Agassiz, BC
Peggy Clarke AAFC- Agassiz, BC
Sheila Fitzpatrick AAFC- Agassiz, BC
Peter Mason AAFC- Ottawa, ON