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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POSTHARVEST TREATMENT FOR TROPICAL COMMODITIES FOR QUARANTINE SECURITY, QUALITY MAINTAINANACE, AND VALUE ENHANCEMENT

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Susceptibility of low-chill blueberry cultivars to oriental fruit fly, mediterranean fruit fly, and melon fly (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Authors
item Follett, Peter
item Zee, Francis
item Hamasaki, Randall -
item Hummer, Kim
item Nakamoto, Stuart -

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 2010
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Citation: Follett, P.A., Zee, F.T., Hamasaki, R.T., Hummer, K.E., Nakamoto, S.T. 2011. Susceptibility of low-chill blueberry cultivars to oriental fruit fly, mediterranean fruit fly, and melon fly (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 104:566-570.

Interpretive Summary: Southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L., Fam. Ericaceae) is a new potentially high-value niche crop for Hawaii (Zee et al. 2006, Hummer et al. 2007). Hawaii-grown blueberries are ripe at times United States mainland berries are unavailable, and could be used to supply local markets or shipped to the U.S mainland to compete with Central and South America blueberries. Forced infestation studies were conducted to determine if fruits of southern highbush blueberries are hosts for three invasive tephritid fruit flies. Fruits of 17 blueberry cultivars were exposed to gravid female flies of Bactrocera dorsalis (oriental fruit fly), Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly), or Bactrocera cucurbitae (melon fly). Each of the blueberry cultivars tested were infested by oriental fruit fly and Mediterranean fruit fly, confirming that blueberry fruit can be attacked by these fruit flies, and that blueberry is a suitable host for fly development. However, there was significant cultivar variation in susceptibility to fly infestation. Blueberry was a marginal host for melon fly. This information will aid in development of pest management recommendations for blueberry cultivars as planting of low-chill cultivars expands to areas with subtropical and tropical fruit flies. Planting of fruit fly resistant cultivars may result in lower infestation levels and less crop loss. Breeders may wish to use genotypes with lower susceptibility as parents to develop new cultivars adapted to locations where these flies are found.

Technical Abstract: Forced infestation studies were conducted to determine if fruits of southern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L. hybrids) are hosts for three invasive tephritid fruit flies. Fruits of 17 blueberry cultivars were exposed to gravid female flies of Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (oriental fruit fly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Mediterranean fruit fly), or Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillet) (melon fly) in screen cages outdoors for 6 h, and then held on sand in the laboratory for 2 weeks for pupal development and adult emergence. Each of the blueberry cultivars tested were infested by oriental fruit fly and Mediterranean fruit fly, confirming that blueberry fruit can be attacked by these fruit flies, and that blueberry is a suitable host for fly development. However, there was significant cultivar variation in susceptibility to fly infestation. For oriental fruit fly, ‘Sapphire’ fruit produced an average of 1.42 puparia per gram which was twice as high as that of the next most susceptible cultivar, ‘Emerald’ (0.70 puparia/g). ‘Legacy,’ ‘Biloxi.’ and ‘Spring High’ were least susceptible to infestation, producing only 0.20 to 0.25 oriental fruit fly puparia per gram of fruit. For Mediterranean fruit fly, ‘Blue Crisp’ produced 0.50 puparia per gram of fruit, whereas ‘Sharpblue’ produced only 0.03 puparia per gram of fruit. Blueberry was a marginal host for melon fly. This information will aid in development of pest management recommendations for blueberry cultivars as planting of low-chill cultivars expands to areas with subtropical and tropical fruit flies. Planting of fruit fly resistant cultivars may result in lower infestation levels and less crop loss. Breeders may wish to use genotypes with lower susceptibility as parents to develop new cultivars adapted to locations where these flies are found.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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