About Spotted Wing Drosophila and the SCRI SWD Project

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is an insect pest of economically valuable small fruit and tree fruit crops. Known in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest since about 2009, this species now appears to be established in many fruit growing regions around the country. Growers and researchers are working together to implement effective pest control strategies.

Full project title: Biology and management of spotted wing Drosophila on small and stone fruits

This USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture - Specialty Crop Research Initiative funded project represents a coordinated, comprehensive, region-wide investigation into the biology and management of Spotted Wing Drosophila on small and stone fruit for industry and non-commercial producers in Oregon, Washington, and California.

Personnel with expertise in entomology, horticulture, genomics, agricultural production, pest management, processing and distribution of agricultural commodities, economics, sociology, and Extension collaborate under this project’s scope of work.

The project and the implementation of its comprehensive plan to achieve management of D. suzukii benefits from regular, meaningful stakeholder input. Stakeholders guide research direction with emerging needs in mind. The situation has moved away from the crisis management mode of 2009-2010, and is transitioning to a system protocols and resources that permit continued production of quality small and stone fruits despite the pressure of D. suzukii.

The overarching goals of this project are to develop a collaborative, systems-based, sustainable approach to the management of D. suzukii, and to support improved crop production through delivery of research-based information delivered in the form of models and other decision support tools, outreach events, and publications targeting all categories of stakeholders. These are the specific objectives around which this project is organized:

Objective 1: Evaluate genetic, biological and ecological parameters of SWD

1.1 Conduct genomic studies to assess origin and propensity for adaptation to different climates

1.2 Evaluate biological and environmental parameters for survival, population growth, overwintering, life cycle and habits

1.3 Determine seasonal phenology of SWD

1.4: Assess SWD plant preferences in the lab and in the field, and determine stages of fruit susceptibility to larval infestation

Objective 2: Develop a management strategy to minimize infestation and reduce risk

2.1 Optimize monitoring systems for early detection, trapping, and assessing damage

2.2. Develop regional mapping of degree day accumulation for SWD combining field and lab studies; establish economic thresholds

2.3 Conduct laboratory assays and replicated field trials for chemical controls

2.4 Determine propensity for insecticide resistance development

2.5 Initiate local field survey for natural enemies in agroecosystems, home gardens and wildlands, and long-term biological control

2.6 Conduct area-wide sanitation and preventative practices

2.7 Complete economic analysis regarding performance of examined management alternatives.

Objective 3: Measure awareness, impact and success

3.1 Conduct annual stakeholder advisory panel meetings to review accomplishments and get feedback and direction

3.2 Design evaluation tools that assess biological, economic and social impacts

Objective 4: Synthesize existing and new information and provide real-time support to growers, IPM practitioners, industry and community

4.1 Organize and schedule training interactions with growers, IPM practitioners, industry and community

4.2 Create informational materials,

4.3 Develop real-time interactive online web-based information and networking tools and forums allowing rapid learning and response.

The primary funding for this collaborative Spotted Wing Drosophila project is provided by: USDA-NIFA SCRI Competitive Research Grant Number 2010-51181-21167