Efficacy of an Autochthonous Strain of Entomopathogenic Fungi for the Control of
Drosophila Suzukii Infestation in an Apulian Cherry Orchard
Piscitelli L and Baser N*
CIHEAM Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy
*Corresponding Author: Baser N, CIHEAM Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy.
July 22, 2022; Published: November 09, 2022
Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is an invasive pest which has recently spread worldwide. The damage of this pest to fruit production is highest in the immediate pre-harvest period, thus making insecticide applications unsuitable. Sustainable management strategies, such as the use of specialized biological control agents able to suppress population outbreaks in the invaded areas, are presently scarce. In this study, the use of an Apulian strain (Southern Italy) of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is proposed against D. suzukii, as a possible sustainable control strategy for autochthonous organic cherry orchards. Levels of natural D. suzukii infestation were monitored in the month of June both in 2019 and 2020 on untreated and M. anisopliae treated cherry trees. Such a study was carried out in open field to confirm previous positive results obtained under laboratory conditions. If the numbers of infested fruits and eggs laid by the pest are considered as the infestation parameters, treatments with the local strain of M. anisopliae generally reduced D. suzukii infestation and spread. Conversely, pyrethrin, a biological insecticide used as a comparison, did not reduce D. suzukii oviposition Finally, the level of natural D. suzukii infestation was significantly affected by the different climatic conditions registered in the two years considered.
Keywords: bio-pesticides, Drosophila suzukii, EPF, infested fruits, Metarhizium anisopliae
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