Is Drosophila suzukii as susceptible to entomopathogenic nematodes as Drosophila melanogaster?
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Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is the major invasive pest of small, soft-skinned and stone fruits, with a wide range of hosts. This study aims to test the susceptibility of this insect to entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) and their efficacy on infested fruits from first instar larvae to adult emergence. Drosophila suzukii and D. melanogaster (Meigen) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) were susceptible to Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), S. feltiae (Filipjev) (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), Steinernema sp. (glaseri group) (Filipjev) (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Poinar) (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) on two substrates (filter paper and agar). The greater efficacy against D. suzukii was achieved by S. feltiae and S. carpocapsae (94 and 84%, respectively) with equal efficacy than that obtained using D. melanogaster as host (93.37 and 92.88%, respectively). The EPNs infected and could reproduce inside D. suzukii larvae. In contrast, pupae of both species were not infected by them. Nematodes proved to be able to reduce adult emergence of D. suzukii (up to 35% by S. feltiae) on strawberry fruit under laboratory conditions. These results show that D. suzukii is as susceptible as D. melanogaster to EPNs, confirming the potential of these nematodes as biological control agents against this important pest.
KeywordsEntomopathogenic nematode Biological control Steinernematidae Heterorhabditidae
We are especially grateful to IRTA-Cabrils for providing the adults of D. suzukii. We would like to thank the Unit of Genetics of the Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona for providing the adults of D. melanogaster, the drosophila diet and technical support for rearing. We thank José Antonio Pérez from the Servicio de Sanidad Vegetal (Junta de Extremadura) for providing the soil for the isolation of the strain Ext4 of S. feltiae. We also thank Magda Galeano from Koppert, for providing the commercial strain of H. bacteriophora Larvanem®. Finally, we thank the anonymous referees and editor for their constructive comments to improve this paper.
The research presented in this paper was partially funded by a Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia Project (AGL2011-24194).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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