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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Research Project #429868

Research Project: Detection, Control and Area-wide Management of Fruit Flies and Other Quarantine Pests of Tropical/Subtropical Crops

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2016 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The goals of our project plan are to conduct foundational research to create the knowledge base necessary to develop innovative control methods and IPM strategies, and to conduct applied research to produce information and products that improve pest control in tropical agriculture. The four major objectives of our program are: Objective 1: Model pest invasion pathways, and investigate the genomics/genetics, physiology/behavior, population dynamics, biology/ecology, and natural enemies of tropical and subtropical fruit flies and other invasive pests to develop technologies to control (contain, suppress, and eradicate) these pests in Hawaii and the Pacific, the U.S. mainland, and elsewhere. 1A: Build an analysis of emerging tephritid fruit fly genomes, including linkage mapping, uniform and consistent gene structural and functional annotation, and comparative genomic analysis. 1B: Conduct surveys on coffee berry borer (CBB) distribution and abundance on Hawaii Island to provide a baseline for a predictive model that integrates GIS, pest insect population dynamics, host plant phenology, weather data and grower practices to drive area-wide management of CBB on Hawaii Island. Objective 2: Determine physiological, genetic, and biological factors limiting the effectiveness of the sterile insect technique (SIT) and natural enemies in control and eradication of fruit flies and other tropical plant pests of quarantine significance. 2A: Improve the effectiveness of mass reared fruit flies for SIT by quantifying the impact of colony infusion on incorporating wild genetics into the SIT colony, and correlating fly performance with genomic markers. 2B: Investigate parasitoid-fruit fly host interactions from the molecular to the field level. Objective 3: To increase export of tropical fruits and vegetables, improve attractants and trapping systems for surveillance and detection, and develop lures, baits, and reduced risk pesticides for area-wide IPM of fruit flies and/or other tropical plant pests of quarantine significance. 3A: Evaluation of C. capitata, B.dorsalis and B. cucurbitae captures in traps baited with solid trimedlure (TML), methyl eugenol (ME) and raspberry ketone (RK) male lure and insecticide dispensers weathered in Hawaii and California. 3B: Evaluation of mixtures, weathering and chemical degradation of SPLAT-spinosad ME and cue-lure (C-L) for fruit fly control under Hawaii and California conditions. 3C: Evaluation of a new attractant system for detection, monitoring and control of the sweetpotato vine borer, a pest of quarantine significance in Hawaii. Objective 4: Provide baseline information for development of low prevalence and/or pest-free zones, for implementation in Hawaii and the U.S. mainland, to promote or allow unimpeded movement of fruit and vegetable exports. 4A: Create area of low pest prevalence (ALPP) as an independent measure of systems approaches for melon fly. 4B: Utilize models to evaluate the sensitivity of trapping grids for detection and control of insect pests such as tephritid fruit flies. 4C. Effectiveness of foliar and bait sprays against C. capitata, B.dorsalis, B. cucurbitae and B. latifrons.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Hypothesis 1A: Tephritid genomes have a core set of genes that are related to their proliferation as pests world-wide. If we have trouble generating crosses from a particular species or have issues generating genomic DNA, other species could be sequenced. Approach 1B: Collect baseline data on distribution and abundance of Coffee Berry Borer and associated environmental and climatic data. Then use GIS techniques to produce a region-wide assessment of infestation and economic impact. If this does not work, surveys can be replaced with grower-collected data. Approach 2A: Combine genetic, proteomic and phenotypic data into a synthetic analysis. If portions experiments fail or cannot be integrated, publish portions independently. Approach 2B: Examine tephritid host-parasitoid biology across levels of biological organization to allow integration of foundational knowledge benefiting classical biological control of tephritids. If international releases are impeded by regulatory issues, field work in Hawaii will be done. Hypothesis 3A: Solid male lure wafers with solid insecticidal tape are just as effective, but more convenient and safer to handle than current liquid lure-insecticide formulations used for fruit fly detection programs. If data are inconclusive, chemical analyses of weathered dispensers from trials will at least provide “use pattern” and formulation data for future trials. Hypothesis 3B: Generic combination SPLAT-MAT-spinosad-methyl eugenol/cue-lure mixture will perform as well as Min-U-Gel with naled and ME and C-L separately for fruit fly control/eradication. If the sprayable mixtures are too expensive, recommend addition of small amounts of cue-lure or raspberry ketone to STATIC-spinosad-ME as part of a tank mix. Hypothesis 3C: A binary male attractant system identified with sweetpotato vine borer populations in Vietnam will provide significantly greater male catch in Hawaii populations than male catch in traps baited with an initially identified single compound lure. In cases where low populations are encountered, trials will be shifted to other fields or other time of year where higher populations are present. Hypothesis 4A: Mass trapping using a plant-odor lure, male lure and protein baits can create areas of low pest prevalence (ALPP) in commercial crops and reduce the risk of a mating pair in a consignment when combined with a second measure such as a (less than 99.9986% effective) quarantine treatment. Alternatively, investigate the effects of other independent measures such as poor host status and quarantine treatments. Approach 4B: Develop a biologically-based mathematical model of tephritid traps in a landscape that allows formal quantification of trap network sensitivity. Hypothesis 4C: Current preharvest foliar insecticides being used in IPM systems against other fruit and vegetable pests (e.g., spotted wing drosophila and Asian citrus psyllid) in California and Florida are sufficient to meet quarantine requirements for fruit flies when introduced into Florida and California. Alternatives are to use current practices of either malathion protein bait or GF-120 sprays.

3. Progress Report:
Foundational studies and field evaluation of area-wide control strategies for invasive pests of economic importance such as fruit flies and coffee berry borer continued. The melon fly whole genome assembly project has been submitted to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) under Bioproject PRJNA259565 (WGS project JRNW01). Annotation release 100 has been completed, and the assembly and annotation release is available at the i5k workspace at the USDA National Agriculture Library (NAL). A survey system was established for monitoring coffee berry borer. Environmental data sources have been identified and many presented in an online viewer in collaboration with researchers at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center (ARC). Monitoring of Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) populations, plant phenology, management practices and weather conditions was initiated in February, 2016, at 12 sites throughout the Kona coffee growing region (8 managed farms, 4 feral/unmanaged sites) through close work with coffee growers. During FY 2016 releases and studies of the oriental fruit fly natural enemy, Fopius arisanus, in Senegal and Brazil continued. Further studies on the factors that limit abundance of these natural enemies were conducted in Hawaii, Senegal, and Brazil through laboratory studies. Development of a new method to assess flight performance and overall condition of fruit flies has been completed, and tests on the reproducibility of the assessment within individuals and for individuals over time have been conducted. Additionally, tests on compromised flies (starved) have been conducted and indicate good performance of the method. This individual-level assessment will be useful to mass rearing operations for determining the need for infusion of wild material and for research purposes. The evidence of the effect of X-ray radiation on immature stages (larvae and pupae) on biological performance parameters and protein expression has been demonstrated and published. Results indicated their adult counterparts may be disabled in their abilities to successfully compete for and mate with wild females in native habitats. A proteomics/qPCR approach to estimate the physical age of wild male oriental fruit fly has been discovered and published. Results may be able to estimate the age from wild caught male oriental fruit flies. Research continued on development of solid dispensers to provide large mainland detection programs with more convenient, effective, and safer means to use male lures and insecticides for improved detection and suppression of invasive fruit flies that respond to either methyl eugenol or cue-lure (or raspberry ketone). Studies in five California counties and two earlier studies in Hawaii suggested that a solid multi-lure dispenser with an insecticidal strip could be used in large survey programs for simultaneous detection of three fruit flies. In addition, chemical degradation data are currently being analyzed to determine breakdown of the lure and insecticide. Similarly, STATIC™ Spinosad-Methyl Eugenol (ME) which has been certified for use as an environmentally friendly replacement for Min-U-Gel mixed with methyl eugenol and the insecticide, naled, in California. STATIC™ Spinosad-ME was used in California for the first time for eradication of an oriental fruit fly infestation. Results on mixtures of STATIC™ Spinosad-ME with cue-lure conducted against mixed oriental fruit fly and melon fly populations were completed and are being submitted for publication. Relevant to mainland detection programs, parameters to enable use of a trap model aimed at improving the efficiency of surveillance programs. The attraction parameters for species-specific lures have been estimated for Mediterranean fruit fly, oriental fruit fly and melon fly via field experiments in Hawaii. Experiments consisted of Mark-Release-Recapture within a grid of traps. The model and parameters will enable optimization of surveillance trapping grids to maximize tephritid detection while minimizing the number of traps and related costs. Progress was also made on improving Male Annihilation Techniques (MAT) against Bactrocera fruit flies based on methyl eugenol (ME) or cue-lure (CL) attractants. Studies were conducted in Hilo, Hawaii to quantify attraction of wild male oriental fruit fly and melon fly to an MAT formulation consisting of specialized pheromone and lure application technology (SPLATTM) with mixtures or individual applications of ME, C-L and spinosad as a sprayable “reduced-risk” control system. In field comparisons, no significant differences were found by applying equal parts of single lure formulations of SPLAT-ME and SPLAT-CL as one dollop (mixed) or two dollops (unmixed). In areas where both oriental fruit fly and melon fly are established, a mixed formulation of ME/CL could be potentially used as a generic MAT and provide an economic benefit by reducing “attract and kill” stations by fifty percent. Research findings on more cost effective protein baits indicated that the addition of ammonium acetate to commercially available proteinaceous baits and to beer waste can greatly improve their attractiveness to Mediterranean fruit fly, potentially increasing the bait’s effectiveness and reducing the cost for fruit fly suppression programs. In cooperation with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Compendium of Fruit Fly Host Information (CoFFHI) has been updated and released online to provide a centralized, comprehensive, interactive and searchable documentation of what is known, worldwide, about the status of fruits and vegetables as hosts of fruit flies of economic importance. Development of systems approaches for fruit fly quarantines on the U.S. mainland continued. Studies were completed by ARS researcher in Hilo, Hawaii, on the efficacy of various Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) foliar insecticides to Mediterranean fruit fly, melon fly and oriental fruit fly. Results from these trials suggest that several insecticides, (e.g. Mustang and Warrior II) when used as foliar sprays produced similar mortalities to the approved fruit fly quarantine treatments and would be the most promising foliar insecticides for develop of a systems approach against fruit flies when quarantines occur in orchards being sprayed for SWD on the U.S. mainland.

4. Accomplishments
1. Improving California trap programs for detection of fruit flies. True fruit flies are a significant economic and agricultural concern in California because of the wide range of potential hosts they can affect, including citrus. Solid multi-lure dispensers inside fruit fly detection traps were weathered during summer and winter in five California citrus growing counties (Kern, Ventura, Orange, Tulare, and Riverside). Results obtained by ARS scientists in Hilo, Hawaii, and University of California researchers, suggest that a solid multi-lure dispenser with an insecticidal strip could be used in large survey programs that often include over 30,000 sites for simultaneous detection of three major fruit fly groups. This represents a potential cost savings of sixty-seven percent. In addition, chemical degradation data are being analyzed to determine breakdown of the lure and insecticide with time that will predict quantitatively how often traps should be serviced.

2. Compendium of Fruit Fly Host Information (CoFFHI) updated. The Compendium of Fruit Fly Host Information has been released online to provide centralized, comprehensive, interactive and searchable documentation of what is known, worldwide, about the status of fruits and vegetables as hosts of fruit flies of economic importance. Fruit flies cause direct damage to fruits and vegetables through oviposition and larval feeding and restrict movement of commodities across national and international borders. Establishment of appropriate regulatory procedures, however, is dependent on the knowledge of the status of commodities as hosts for fruit fly species. The online accessible Compendium of Fruit Fly Host Information (CoFFHI;, developed through collaborative efforts of ARS scientists in Hilo, Hawaii, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (APHIS-CPHST), and the Center for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM), provides comprehensive documentation of host records for the Mediterranean fruit fly, the carambola fruit fly, the guava fruit fly and Bactrocera latifrons, as well as updated host lists for the oriental fruit fly and the melon fly. As a primary reference on fruit fly host plants, CoFFHI is designed to enable regulatory scientists and regulatory officials to assess and mitigate risk of introduction and establishment of exotic fruit flies, in fresh horticultural commodities, that pose significant threats to U.S. agriculture and natural resources. It also serves as a decision tool in the design and implementation of effective fruit fly detection, monitoring, suppression, and eradication programs of USDA and various state regulatory agencies.

5. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations:

Review Publications
Chang, C.L., Goodman, C.L., Ringbauer Jr., J.A., Geib, S.M., Stanley, D.W. 2016. Larval x-ray irradiation influences protein expression in pupae of the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera Dorsalis. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. 92(3):192-209.

Manoukis, N., Gayle, S.M. 2016. Attraction of wild-like and colony-reared Bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae) to Cuelure in the field. Journal of Applied Entomology. 140:241-249.

Pinero, J.C., Souder, S., Smith, T.R., Fox, A.J., Vargas, R.I. 2015. Ammonium acetate enhances the attractiveness of a variety of protein-based baits to female Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 108(2):694-700.

Vargas, R.I., Souder, S., Morse, J.G., Grafton-Cardwell, E.E., Haviland, D.R., Kabashima, J.N., Faber, B.A. 2016. Improve California trap programs for detection of fruit flies. Citrograph. 7(3):60-63.

Manoukis, N., Siderhurst, M., Jang, E.B. 2015. Field estimates of attraction of Ceratitis capitata to Trimedlure and Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) to methyl eugenol in varying environments. Environmental Entomology. 44(3):695-703.

Manoukis, N., Hall, B., Geib, S.M. 2014. A computer model of insect traps in a landscape. Scientific Reports. 4:7015.

Sim, S., Calla Zalles, B., Hall, B., Derego, T., Geib, S.M. 2015. Reconstructing a comprehensive transcriptome assembly of a white-pupal translocated strain of the pest fruit fly Bactrocera cucurbitae. Gigascience. 4:14.

Vargas, R.I., Souder, S., Morse, J.G., Grafton Cardwell, E.E., Haviland, D., Kabashima, J.N., Faber, B., Mackey, B.E., Cook, P. 2015. Captures of wild Ceratitis capitata Bactrocera dorsalis and Bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae) in traps with improved multi-lure TMR-Dispensers weathered in California. Journal of Economic Entomology. 109(2):607-612.

Abd-Alla, A.M., Kariithi, H.M., Cousserans, F., Parker, N.J., Ince, I.A., Scully, E.D., Boeren, S., Geib, S.M., Mekonnen, S., Vlak, J.M., Parker, A.G., Vresyen, M.J., Bergoin, M. 2016. Comprehensive annotation of the Glossina pallidipes salivary gland hypertrophy virus from Ethiopian tsetse flies: a proteogenomics approach. Journal of General Virology. 97(4):1010-1031. doi: 10.1099/igv.0.000409.

Mcdonnell, R., Yoo, J., Patel, K., Rios, L., Hollingsworth, R.G., Millar, J., Paine, T. 2016. Can essential oils be used as novel drench treatments for the eggs and juveniles of the pest snail Cornu aspersum in potted plants? Journal of Pest Science. 89:549. doi: 10.1007/s10340-015-0690-y.

Manoukis, N. 2016. To catch a fly: landing and capture of ceratitis capitata in a Jackson trap with and without an insecticide. PLoS One. 11(2):e0149869. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.

Vargas, R.I., Souder, S., Nkomo, E., Cook, P.J., Mackey, B.E., Stark, J.D. 2015. Weathering and chemical degradation of methyl eugenol and raspberry ketone solid dispensers for detection, monitoring and male annihilation of Bactrocera dorsalis and Bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Hawaii. Journal of Economic Entomology. 108(4):1612-1623. doi:10.1093/jee/tov137.