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Angeli's Lab Members

Dr. Claire Dumenil
Postdoc (Assegno di Ricerca) (Sep. 2019 - )

Title "Drosophila suzukii management through yeast-based trapping lures"

I am working on the project DROMYTAL which aim is to develop an effective pest control strategy for Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), responsible for major commercial losses in small stone fruit and berry fruit farms and viticulture in many countries. Female flies lay eggs in ripening fruits on the plant through a punctured hole in the skin. Larvae feed on the flesh and the punctured skin is prone to infestations by microorganisms and other insects, leaving fruits unmarketable. Controlling this pest is a major challenge because only insecticide applications fully protect the fruits. Integrated pest management methods are currently developed to reduce or suppress residuals of insecticides on the fruits. One of the alternative sustainable methods is the manipulation of insect behavior with chemical tools. Semiochemicals that are specific to D. suzukii can be utilized to disrupt their attraction to fruits. The present project consists in the development of an attract-and-kill tool with a chemical lure which can selectively attract adults D. suzukii. I will collect volatile compounds from selected yeasts and grapevine foliage. Bioactive compounds are located using gas chromatography- electroantennography on adult flies. Compounds inducing antennal activity are identified using gas chromatography- mass spectrometry. Behavioral assays and field trials will then be performed to test pure compounds and blends for attraction of both male and female adult flies. The “attract & kill” system will consist of localized treatments on vegetative parts of plants (but not on fruits). Its efficacy will be compared to a conventional control strategy where insecticides are used. The project will be done in collaboration with Laimburg Research Centre and other national and international institutions.

Last updated 2.10.2019