The DROPSA consortium will create new knowledge and understanding of the damage and losses of fruit crops resulting from pests and pathogens, with a specific focus on the new and emerging threats due to Drosophila suzukii and quarantine pathogens Pseudomonas syringae, Xanthomonas fragariae and X. arboricola. The project will deliver a cost effective approach that can be widely implemented by the EU fruit industry. The aims and objectives are to:
• 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.
• Determine the biology, ecology and interaction of these pests and diseases in different regions of Europe. This will involve a comprehensive evaluation of the life cycles, host ranges, capacities to disperse, the identification of natural enemies, plant-pathogen interactions as well as the semiochemicals involved in the behaviour of D. suzukii. The biology will provide the platform to develop practical solutions for sustainable pest control.
• Develop innovative and effective control options 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 will be combined to optimise 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 will be evaluated and used to support decision making in the implementation of IPM strategies to protect the EU fruit sector.
To protect intellectual property (IP) and to undertake dissemination and exploitation actions to maximise the impact and up take of the recommended IPM by commercial fruit growers.