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This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 613678

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Strategies to develop effective, innovative and practical approaches to protect major european fruit crops from pests and pathogens

Pathways of introduction of fruit pests and pathogens

Where do the populations of D. suzukii in its invasive range originate from?
A phylogeographic analysis of D. suzukii is performed. In addition to molecular studies, analyses of the bacteria within the intestinal tract of D. suzukii are carried out in order to identify the microbiota within the midgut and the possible presence of symbiotic bacteria, which could allow differentiation of the different populations of D. suzukii. For this experiment a particular trap was developed that allows capturing live adults (for photo click on the link under page documents).

What are the mechanisms of spread in the case of D. suzukii?
Existing models (e.g. PRATIQUE, EFSA quantitative models) are reviewed and adapted to the requirements of DROPSA. They are then used to analyse pathways, for example to identify risky commodities, and, based on information from WP 2, to investigate the spread of D. suzukii.

Which pests and pathogens present a high risk of introduction into the EU with the fruit trade?
An alert list of pests and pathogens likely to be introduced into Europe with the fruit trade is produced. To take account of past events, a review based on official information (NPPOs, EPPO) and literature research is prepared that identifies pests and pathogens with relation to fruit imports recorded in Europe during the last 10-15 years. Criteria to select crops of interest for pathway risk analyses have been discussed (trade: quantity, value, emerging markets; area of production in the EU) and a list of fruit species, for which alert lists of pests are produced (starting with apples and Vaccinium berries) has been agreed upon.

Which method (model) is suitable to analyse the risk associated with pathways for fruit pests and pathogens?
A pathway risk analysis of fruit imports into Europe is carried out. A generic quantitative model for pathway analyses is under development in cooperation with EFSA. The purpose of the model is to identify locations and end use (processing and retail), which are associated with a high risk of transfer of a specified pest from the imported commodity to the agricultural production within the EU. The model is applied initially to one of the DROPSA examples identified in other DROPSA tasks.

How can an introduction of new fruit pests and diseases be prevented?
Using the results from tasks 1.3 and 1.4, risk based strategies to reduce the risk of introduction of new fruit pests and diseases into Europe are developed. Such strategies include the identification of countries and products representing a high risk potential, infective inspection methods for fruit imports and an increase of awareness of current risks in the fruit industry. In parallel with the economic assessment, the economic criteria are applied to evaluate the strategies and to underpin recommendations.

Gritta Schrader
Julius Kühn Institut, Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen (Germany)
(Julius Kuehn Institute, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants)
Institut für nationale und internationale Angelegenheiten der Pflanzengesundheit (Germany)
(Institute for National and International Plant Health)