Strategies to develop effective, innovative and practical approaches to protect major European fruit crops from pests and pathogens
Drosophila suzukii and quarantine pathogens such as Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa), Xanthomonas fragariae (Xf) and X. arboricola pv. pruni (Xap) that have been introduced into Europe are posing major challenges to fruit production and are causing substantial economic losses.
The development of targeted integrated pest management is vital to minimise their economic impact on fruit producers in the EU.
DROPSA has addressed some of the challenges faced by the EU fruit industry, and its principal objective was to develop reliable, robust and cost-effective approaches to pest and disease management. This has been achieved through the following actions:
• Determine the pathways of introduction and spread of D. suzukii and pathogens into the EU and develop preventative strategies and recommendations against the introduction of other dangerous fruit pests and pathogens using new pathway risk models.
• Determine the biology, ecology and interaction of these pests and diseases in different regions of Europe. This involves a comprehensive evaluation of life cycles, host ranges, capacities to disperse, identification of natural enemies, plant-pathogen interactions as well as the semiochemicals involved in the behaviour of D. suzukii. The knowledge on biology provides the platform to develop practical solutions for sustainable pest control.
• Develop innovative, practical, preventative and integrated control solutions using approved chemicals, semiochemicals, novel antimicrobial compounds and biological control agents as well as cultural practices, sterile insect techniques and new mode of action compounds. The most reliable and effective control options are being combined to optimize an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy.
• Develop forecasting and decision support systems and risk mapping as a component of IPM. The economic viability of proposed strategies for fruit crop protection is being evaluated and used to support decision making in the implementation of IPM strategies to protect the EU fruit sector.
Please click on the page document to see Neil's presentation at the final Dropsa meeting.