Spotted Wing Drosophila is an aggressive invasive pest that is high research and management priority for the BC and Canadian berry and small fruit industry. Spotted Wing Drosophila can substantially reduce crop yields despite heavy uses of chemical insecticides, which in some cases can be harmful to the environment and human health. Botanical extracts from plants and insecticidal microbes that are naturally toxic to insects have great potential to provide enviromentally-friendly options for growers to manage Spotted Wing Drosophila. The proposed research will evaluate botanical extracts from the Neem tree, Azadirachta indica, and from the Pongamia pinnata (Karanja) tree, and plant and soil associated microbial isolates for insecticidal and pest repellent effects in collaboration with Terramera Inc. We will evaluate oil extracts from these trees, specifically Neem and Karanaja oil, and screen microbial isolates for their compatibility with Spotted Wing Drosophila biological control agents, including Bacillus thuringiensis. We will determine the specific effects of these natural products, including their lethal and sub-lethal effects, on Spotted Wing Drosophila in the lab, greenhouse and field.
Ikkei Shikano;Suresh Shamji Varsani
University of British Columbia
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