2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Search for, collect, colonize, and ship geographical populations of the olive fruit fly parasitoid, Psyttalia lounsburyi, for release and establishment in southern France.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Areas in east Africa (Kenya) and south Africa (South Africa, Namibia) will be collected from wild olive species. Olives suspected of being infested with olive fruit flies will be collected and held for emergence of parasitoids, or shipped directly to EBCL for emergence in quarantine and colonizated separately. INRA personnel will be training in rearing techniques, and attempts willl be made to distinguish geographically different populations using molecular techniques.
Since its establishment in North America a decade ago, olive fruit fly has become the most important and damaging pest of olives in California, the major producer state in North America. Indigenous natural enemies present in North America are not capable of limiting populations of the fly in commercial orchards, widespread landscape plantings or wild olives, so ARS conducted foreign exploration that identified candidate biocontrol agents that impact fly populations. Their evaluation and subsequent release in California generated considerable interest in France. This project is an agreement that was initiated in 2009 to provide the biocontrol agents to INRA for release in France and to support collaborative studies of their ecology in the field and compare the biological characteristics of several different populations of the agents. Additional details about the research can be found in the report for the parent project 0212-22000-24-00D, DISCOVERY, BIOLOGY, AND ECOLOGY OF NATURAL ENEMIES OF INSECT PESTS OF CROP AND URBAN AND NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS. To discuss project progress, the ADODR corresponded during the year by electronic mail, videoconference and personal meetings with the cooperators, including a joint meeting between INRA and EBCL scientists held in November 2010 at EBCL to discuss the project progress.