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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

2013 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.

3. Progress Report:
Continuing progress is being made on basic studies and development of area-wide control strategies for invasive pests of economic importance such as fruit flies. During the past year an annotated world bibliography of the host fruits of Malaysian fruit fly was completed and a searchable database of the host plants of the Mediterranean fruit fly was made available online. Volatile semiochemicals have been identified from insect host plants from fruit flies, coffee berry borer,and coconut rhinoceros beetle. These compounds are being tested for behavioral activity in both sensory and whole animal assays. A compound that may be attractive to Queensland fruit fly is being evaluated in Australia. An improved sprayable biopesticide male annihilation technique formulation was tested at the orchard level in Hawaii, Pakistan, and Brazil. Rapid reductions in male oriental, peach, and carambola fruit flies, respectively, occurred in all three demonstration trials. Results suggest SPLAT® MAT Spinosad ME (aka STATICTMME-spinosad) “attract and kill” formulations containing spinosad are more convenient and safer to handle than current liquid insecticide formulations which utilize more toxic and less desirable organophosphate insecticides. In addition, novel trilure solid lure and insecticide dispensers have been shown to be as effective as standard liquid lure formulations currently used on the U.S. mainland. Trials are now underway in California for use in detection and eradication of annual accidental introductions of fruit flies. Natural enemies of fruit flies have been successfully mass-reared and sent to both Brazil, Senegal and Tahiti through informal cooperative programs. The natural enemy, has been successfully established in Tahiti. Studies on the factors that limit the abundance of these natural enemies are being conducted at Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) and in Brazil through laboratory studies. The use of sterile Mediterranean fruit flies as carriers for pheromone of the light brown apple moth was tested in a novel form of mating disruption termed mobile mating disruption. Small scale field tests demonstrated that flies fed moth pheromone could disrupt mating for a short time period. ARS scientists at PBARC also have identified differentially expressed proteins/genes specific to radiation treatment and nutritional deficiency at all ages of adult and pupa stages in oriental fruit fly. Manipulation of these target proteins/genes in fruit fly life stages and/or ages using RNA interference technology may help improve the quality of the fruit fly control program, especially with the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). The genome of the oriental fruit fly has been sequenced and assembly and annotation are progressing rapidly.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Butail, S., Manoukis, N., Diallo, M., Ribeiro, J.M., Lehmann, T., Paley, D.A. 2012. Reconstructing the flight kinematics of swarming and mating behavior in wild mosquitoes. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 9(75)2624-2638.

Liquido, N., McQuate, G.T., Suiter, K. 2013. An encyclopedic bibliography of the host plants of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), version 1.1. Bemisia: Bionomics and Management of a Global Pest. Available:

Geib, S.M., Scully, E.D., Jimenez-Gasco, M., Carlson, J.E., Tien, M., Hoover, K. 2012. Phylogenetic analysis of Fusarium solani associated with the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis. Oriental Insects. 7(4):e32990.doi:10.1371

Vargas, R.I., Leblanc, L., Harris, E.J., Manoukis, N. 2012. Regional suppression of Bactrocera fruit flies (Diptera:Tephritidae) in the Pacific through biological control and prospects for future introductions into other areas of the world. Insects. 3(3):727-742. Available: doi:10.3390/insects3030727

Mcquate, G.T. 2012. Timing of onset of evening activity of adult chinese rose beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology. 16:1-4.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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