04 Mar 2024

Drosophila suzukii: the sterile insect will be the new strategy

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The biological control of Drosophila suzukii through the sterile insect technique offers promising prospects: soon, a new tool could be available to counter the insect that is causing concerns not only among strawberry and small fruit growers but also among cherry producers.

This insect, originating from the East, was first detected in Italy in 2009 and later in Spain; currently, it is practically widespread throughout Europe. In France, where it was identified in 2010, researchers are conducting experiments with this technique, which has the advantage of being environmentally sustainable.

The results of the latest tests conducted during the 2023 season were presented at an event organized by CTIFL titled 'Rencontre technique protection des vergers de cerisiers contre Drosophila suzukii.'

The sterile insect technique (SIT) strategy is based on the mass release of males that have been previously sterilized, rendering them incapable of fertilization. This is achieved through intensive cultivation and large-scale production of males. Pupae are sterilized using various techniques, including irradiation with ionizing X-rays.

In 2023, a British startup conducted an experiment: when comparing crops subjected to the SIT technique with those treated with insecticides and monitoring the presence of larvae in raspberries, the results showed an 80% reduction in larval presence in SIT-treated raspberries compared to the control group.

Read the full article on Cherry Times.


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