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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Environmental Effects of Tephritid Fruit Fly Control and Management

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objectives of this cooperative agreement are three-fold:.
1)to develop, evaluate and transfer non-toxic, environmentally suitable and publicly acceptable technologies and processes for fruit fly pest management in order to enhance the production and interstate and international movement of Hawaiian agricultural commodities;.
2)to identify and characterize effective environmental and economic impacts of technologies and processes for fruit fly control; and.
3)to investigate the establishment of fruit fly low-prevalence zones to facilitate interstate and international movement of Hawaii agricultural products.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The approach to this project is to address the development and evaluation of currently acceptable or novel non-toxic fruit-fly control strategies such as classical biological controls; post-harvest treatments, microbial control agents; behavioral genetic and ecological controls and others, while identifying potential environmental problems and developing solutions associated with currently acceptable or novel fruit fly control strategies in a variety of Hawaii agricultural systems (such as coffee, papaya, guava, citrus, lychee, mango and other fruit and vegetables). Documents SCA with University of Hawaii; formerly 5320-22430-021-22S (8/09).


3.Progress Report

The agreement was established in support of the Objective of the in-house project, the goal being to develop environmentally acceptable and economically feasible systems for detection, control, suppression, and eradication of fruit flies and other insect pests associated with tropical fruits.

A novel, visually-attractive rain-fast bait station was developed by University of Hawaii and ARS researchers for use in fruit and vegetable crops in Hawaii. The results showed these bait stations developed effectively protected GF-120 NF Naturalyte bait against rainfall while enhancing the response of fruit fly to this bait; an environmentally friendly approach to attract and kill fruit flies resulting in population suppression. Scientists in Utah have expressed interest in using the bait stations for cherry fruit fly control. Scientists in Mexico showed interest in collaborating with UH and ARS scientists to assess the bait stations against other fruit fly species.

Basil oil, a natural, consumable product, was found to be highly effective against 3 fruit fly species (med, oriental and melon fly). Lufenuron is a new insect growth regulator and is nontoxic to humans, domestic animals, wildlife and aquatic species. Preliminary results showed that it significantly impairs medfly, particularly adult emergence, egg hatch, and egg production. It is likely a promising chemosterilant for fruit fly control.

To date 814 distinct specimen records were established. There were at least 4 new species of endemic tephritids collected in Hawaii that have not been previously described in the literature. The latter 3 species were rare and localized, while the 1st appeared more abundant but previously confused with Trupanea crassipes. GIS maps were generated for the respective host plants, primarily in the Hawaiian silversword alliance, of these 4 new species of endemic fruit flies.

Currently, 14 microsatellites have been isolated and characterized in both lab-reared and wild type populations. Behaviors of the different breeds and crosses of the populations have also been studied. A total of 21 crosses have been completed. Microsatellite characterization to assess heterosis between the behavioral cross progenies will continue and be completed shortly. To assess fitness of each hybrid and correlate that fitness to parental crosses, a common metric correlative to fitness in D. tryoni and tibia length, has been measured for each F1 individual. A detailed analysis of the tibia length characterization for all individuals was conducted. Analysis was conducted to determine whether or not hybridization of the wild type populations with the lab-reared populations has occurred and to what extent. A statistical genetic mapping program (Geneland) was employed to define populations on a geographic scale and model their distribution and hybridization.

This project is monitored via progress reports, meetings, and email and telephone communications.


Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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