Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is a recently introduced, invasive pest in Oregon. It oviposits in near-mature and mature fruit, and thus is an important concern for the small fruit industry. A crop consultant observed that mature raspberry fruit with D. suzukii larvae do not show symptoms of molds as readily as fruit without larvae. We attempted to replicate these observations in the laboratory. A cage of D. suzukii was reared and then used for exposing raspberry fruit to ovipositing adults. Fruit were randomly assigned to control or exposed groups. Exposed fruit were place in the cage for 1 hr and then incubated individually in 6-ml plastic cups with ventilated lids for 7 days (16-hr photoperiod) at 25ºC. After incubation, fruit were assessed for number of fungal colonies and mold severity. Fruit with larvae had significantly fewer fungal colonies (paired t-test, P = 0.02). A well diffusion test of the supernatant from D. suzukii infested raspberry fruit was likewise capable of significant radial growth inhibition in a saprobic fungus (paired t-test, P<0.05). Future research could determine the mechanism of fungal inhibition. The implications of this study include a potential new antifungal agent as well as a better understanding of the D. suzukii life strategy.
Key Words: spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, fungi, larvae
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