Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biology, Control, and Area-Wide Management of Fruit Flies and Other Quarantine Pests

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The proposed work will provide basic and applied information for the development and transfer of appropriate and environmentally acceptable technologies for control of fruit flies and other invasive species. The major objectives of our projects are:.
1)Study population dynamics and pest interactions with their natural enemies, host plants, and other pests in the ecosystem; 2)Identify attractants from host and non-host plants and determine physiological and environmental factors affecting or modulating pest behavior; 3)Improve attractants and trapping systems for surveillance, detection, and control of fruit flies and/or other tropical plant pests of quarantine significance; 4)Assess the efficacy and quality of laboratory-reared insects used in SIT and natural enemies for control of fruit flies and other tropical plant pests of quarantine significance, and determine factors limiting their effectiveness;.
5)Develop basic understanding of the oriental fruit fly genome, annotation of functional proteins that regulate development, metabolism, sensory reception and sex determination; and 6)Develop area-wide IPM systems including integration of environmentally friendly replacements for organophosphate chemicals to reduce the economic impact of fruit flies and other tropical plant pests.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Test more environmentally acceptable pesticides and compounds for use in control or eradication program for fruit flies. Investigate genomics, biology, and behavior of fruit flies and their parasitoids. Evaluate augmentative parasite releases, mass trapping, male annihilation, sterile fly releases, novel insecticides and food bait sprays as control, suppression, or eradication technologies. Develop new or improved fruit fly strains, lures, attractants, parapheromones, and baits to be used in improved trap detection devices and/or current control systems. Investigate fruit fly and parasitoid olfactory, gustatory, and oviposition aensilla and their electrophysiology. Use genomics, computational biology and area-wide control for fruit flies and other pests. Formerly 5320-22430-023-00D (12/10).


3.Progress Report
Continuing progress is being made on studies of the biology and ecology of invasive pests of economic importance suce as fruit flies, Chinese rose beetle, asian citru psyllid and light brown apple moth. Attractant formulations for fruit flies and moths have been tested in the field and found to last for up to 8 weeks. Mobile mating disruption for light brown apple moth (LBAM) is being evaluated using the Mediterranean fruit fly and was shown to suppress LBAM for up to 7 days with trap capture. An improved sprayable formulation Specialized Phermone Lure Application Technology- Male Anniliation Technique (SPLAT-MAT) has recently been registered for use against fruit flies and is being tested in an Interregional Research #4 (IR-4) demonstration test. In addition, novel solid lure and insecticide dispensers have been shown to be as effective as liquid lures and insecticides. An instructional video on the most important natural enemy of fruit flies in the Pacific was produced and published for worldwide distribution. The genome of the oriental fruit fly has been sequenced and assembly and annotation is progressing rapidly.


4.Accomplishments
1. Mango and avocado export from Hawaii to British Columbia, Canada. In recent years, Hawaii mango and avocado growers have been denied access to the Canadian markets (except for certified free areas) due to the presence of light brown moth (LBAM) in Hawaii. Scientists at ARS, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Hilo, HI, and APHIS-PPQ worked jointly with the Canadian authorities to have the regulations pertaining to Hawaii changed to allow mango and avocado fruits to be allowed under compliance agreement with APHIS. Export of Hawaii-grown agricultural products opens new opportunities for Hawaii growers to increase exports of Hawaiian avocados and mangos.

2. Safer fruit fly detection and control devices tested in French Polynesia. Worldwide, an important aspect of invasive insect pest management is more effective and safer detection and control systems. Solid male lure (cue-lure/raspberry ketone - against Queensland fruit fly and methyl eugenol - against oriental fruit fly) and insecticide formulations (DDVP) were evaluated on Tahiti Island (French Polynesia), as alternatives to current monitoring and control systems using liquid formulations of attractant and organophosphate isecticides. ARS, Tahitian and University of Hawaii scientists completed evaluations and have completed a manuscript. Of particular interest were results against the highly invasive Queensland fruit fly which does not occur in Hawaii or the mainland U.S. Technologies tested were more convenient and safer to handle than standard liquid insecticide formulations, and should be considered for monitoring and controling programs not only in Pacific Island nations but also on the U.S. mainland where fruit fly incursions continue to occur.

3. Rearing of Fopius arisanus made simple. Fopius arisanus is an important parasitoid of tephritid fruit flies, which are serious tropical pests. While F. arisanus has been successfully used in biological control programs in Hawaii and abroad, one of the major hurdles to further use comes from the difficulty in initiating and maintaining a colony of this insect. ARS scientists in Hilo, Hawaii, have produced and distributed a peer-reviewed video-article describing a significant ARS developed methodology for rearing F. arisanus. This novel mode of scientific communication will allow dissemination of this important rearing methodology to a wide domestic and international audience.

4. Genome sequencing of the Oriental Fruit Fly, Bactrocera dorsalis. There is very little genetic information available on pest fruit fly species in the genus Bactrocera. Improving knowledge of Bactrocera at a genetic level can lead to the development of novel approaches towards monitoring and controling this genus. In order to gain genetic information, the genomic of the oriental fruit fly, B. dorsalis, was sequenced using a whole genome shotgun sequencing approach with high throughput sequencing technologies. A draft assembly at approximately 20x coverage was completed and an initial functional annotation was performed to identify gene-coding regions. In addition, deep RNA sequencing was performed to identify genes differentially expressed between life stages of this insect and assist in annotation. This information will be used as a foundation towards developing new techniques to distinguish species within B. dorsalis species complex, as well as perform functional genomics experiments towards developing improved methods for mass rearing this insect.


Review Publications
Leblanc, L., Vargas, R.I., Rubinoff, D. 2011. Captures of bactrocera fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) and nontarget insects in biolure and torula yeast traps in Hawaii. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 39(5):1626-1630.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page