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

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FF-IPM (In-silico boosted, pest prevention and off-season focused IPM against new and emerging fruit flies ('OFF-Season' FF-IPM))

Reporting period: 2021-03-01 to 2022-08-31

Alien, invasive pests’ and new emerging ones are threatening the fresh fruit and vegetable production and trading in Europe and elsewhere. Fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae, FF), including highly pestiferous and aggressive invasive species, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata, Cc), the Oriental Fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis, Bd) and the peach fruit fly (Bactrocera zonata, Bz). Cc are currently expanding their geographic distribution from the coastal warmer areas of the Mediterranean parts of Europe to northern and more continental areas thus posing an additional havoc to deciduous fruit production in these areas. On the other hand, Bd and Bz are frequently intercepted in European ports of entry and have been detected in few European countries. Becoming established, both Bd and Bz, are expected to cause major economic damage to European fruit and vegetable growers and to the trading sector. The risks of arrival, establishment and range expansion of the above invasive FF are expected to escalate because of global climate change, increased trading, and human mobility. The ban of neonicotinoids, which is one of the main control tools against FF in Europe, poses an additional burden on fruit growers in Europe.
FF-IPM aims to “develop holistic knowledge-based approaches, innovative tools and services, to empower stakeholders across all sectors along the fruit production and processing chain to (a) dynamically address the impending risks of FF invasion, and (b) efficiently apply FF management throughout a spatial and seasonal continuum in a comprehensive, multi-actor and locally-adapted manner”.
• Development of a database of overwintering traits of the three FF species. The off-season performance of several biological control agents and Lure and kill systems for Cc has been addressed. The overwintering of medfly has been studied in Croatia and Austria. Overwintering traits of Cc in five pilot sites have been determined. The importance of fruitlets to serve as breeding host of the overwintering generation has been addressed. the performance of five Cc populations (three populations were examined in the previous reporting period) in two overwintering hosts and various temperature regimes has been concluded
• Catalogue of local host-chain/climate related drivers determining FF survival. Database of plastic and adaptive responses of Bd Bz and that of several geographically isolated Cc populations to thermal and hydric stress has been developed and become available for FF-IPM partners.
• A decision support tool for the IPM of Cc has been achieved. A database of IPM related parameters has been developed for six pilot sites. The VirtualFarm Decision Support and Service (DSS) Toolbox prototype, has been submitted and the relevant milestone (MS12) has been reached.
• List of socio-economically acceptable “OFF-Season” IPM interventions
• Documentation of ‘OFF-Season” IPM scenarios
• Interception and detection tools (e-nose and e-traps to trace infested fruit and detect adults respectively) have been advanced. Identification tools for invasive FF have been developed. Substantial progress in climatic population modelling has been accomplished and the first risk maps produced.
• A database of major stakeholder has been developed including members regional and national plant protection authorities and the whole fruit producing and trading chain.
• Tools and services for local pest-site-climate-IPM emulation
• Documentation of “ON-Season” IPM scenarios
• ID tools development: adult and larvae electronic keys for major ff species are freely available.
• E-trap development: prototype for two models of e-Trap (McPhail trap and Delta trap) were developed.
• Development of novel spatiotemporal optimization strategies

• Two applications for rapid identification of adult and larvae ff have been developed and become freely available.
• Adaptive potential of climatic stress and Desiccation resistance traits has been studied for Bd.
• Effect of protein content of the larval nutrition on Bz life history traits and cold/heat tolerance has been studied
• Chill coma recovery of Cc adults across the Northern Hemisphere has been studied
• Factors affecting establishment success have been studied for Cc, Bd and Bz
• The dispersal potential of Cc and Bd under different thermal acclimation regimes and ambient temperatures has been studied
• The flight performance of Bd, Bz and Cc in flight mill experiments has been studied
• The possible role of fruitlets of different fruit species to breed the spring generation of Cc has been studied
• The genetic relatedness of Cc population, using high resolving molecular tools has been studied.
• For the development of the e-nose system, chemometric analysis showed that classification of fruits according to their infestation status is possible based on the emission rates of specific VOCs
• A system (Kobo) to collect and database FF trapping data has been developed
• Detection strategies for Bd, Bz and Cc have been developed and are currently tested.
• Spatial and temporal dynamics of Cc populations have been studied in Croatia and Greece for Cc and S. Africa for Bd
• Improved IPM scenarios generated and implemented on farm for Cc
• The FF-IPM platform has been finalized and data have been uploaded
• A generic exploitation plan has been developed
• Wide communication and dissemination of the results of the project with presentations in 10 Scientific and Stakeholders events
• Three webinars have been conducted
The FF-IPM project participated in 10 scientific meetings and stakeholder events, published 12 peer reviewed, 4 magazines and 24 abstract papers; hence it already had an impact regarding the generation of new knowledge regarding invasive ff biological traits.
The impact regarding the understanding of dispersion dynamics of invasive fruit flies has been thoroughly addressed for Bd and Cc following novel methodological approaches and considering different acclimation and ambient temperature scenarios as well as involving wild population and two sexes in the case of Cc.
The data regarding Cc overwintering, dispersion and response to stress conditions provide a solid foundation for testing hypotheses regarding expansion of this pest to areas of central Europe.
The completion of two morphological identification keys that are freely available, and the development of molecular identification tools such as the DNA barcodes for fruit flies that have been provided for incorporation in the EPPO-Q-Bank database will have an impact on fast identification of intercepted and detected ff specimens.
The implementation of the On and Off- Season management approaches that are currently pilot-tested and the detection strategies developed and tested will contribute to reduced economic, social and environmental losses by the farming sector.

Excepted results
• Completion of data generation on biological traits
• Improvement in the FF-IPM platform
• Pilot tests of FF detection, interception and IPM Insilco generated scenarios
• Development of dynamic risk maps for the three target FFs
• Intense dissemination activities and policy information
• Exploitation of FF-IPM products
• Completion of pilot testing of the IPM scenarios
• Completion of pilot testing of the detection strategies
FF-IPM Platform