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In-silico boosted, pest prevention and off-season focused IPM against new and emerging fruit flies ('OFF-Season' FF-IPM)

Project description

Using IT to prevent fruit fly infestations in food crops

Fruit flies are a major economic concern in agriculture since many species attack food crops, costing millions in lost domestic and export sales. Restrictions on the use of conventional insecticides necessitate the establishment of sustainable solutions for pest control. To this end, the EU-funded FF-IPM project will develop and demonstrate an integrated pest management system based on computer modelling that will detect and predict populations of three devastating species of fruit flies in Europe. It will specifically target off-season populations during the overwintering period to prevent fruit fly proliferation in peak season. The project will provide a model for sustainable pest control and reinforce economic growth in European agriculture.


The FF-IPM project targets three highly polyphagous fruit fly (FF) species (Tephritidae) that cause devastating losses in the fresh fruit producing industry, the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), a serious emerging pest in northern temperate areas of Europe, the Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) and the peach fruit fly (B. zonata) two major new (invasive) pests, which pose an imminent threat to European horticulture. The project aims to introduce in-silico supported prevention, detection and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches for both new and emerging FF, based on spatial modelling across a wide range of spatial levels, novel decision support systems, and new knowledge regarding biological traits of the target species, fruit trading and socioeconomics. FF-IPM introduces a fundamental paradigm shift in IPM towards “OFF-Season” management of FF by targeting the overwintering generation when population undergoes significant bottlenecks, preventing, this way, population growth later in season. “ON-Season” control approaches will be generated for different spatial scales considering both existing and developed by FF-IPM tools and services. Innovative prevention tools to track FF infested fruit (e-Nose) and rapidly identify intercepted specimens (Rapid-Molecular-Pest-ID tools) in imported commodities and at processing industries will be produced. Species specific e-trapping systems for the three-target FF will be advanced and employed by novel detection strategies based on spatial modelling. Both “ON and OFF-Season” IPM approaches and detection strategies will be validated in selected locations in eight different countries. FF-IPM generated data on FF response under stress conditions, overwintering dynamics, establishment and dispersion patterns of low population densities combined with advanced spatial population modeling are expected to contribute towards understanding drivers of emerging and new pests under climate change scenarios.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 804 875,00
Argonafton filellinon
38221 Volos

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Κεντρική Ελλάδα Θεσσαλία Μαγνησία
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (21)